Storm and flood insurance under the microscope - is plumbing covered

Storm and Flood Insurance – Will your Plumbing Work be Covered?

Storm and flood insurance under the microscope - is plumbing covered

Will your plumbing work be covered under storm and flood insurance?

Wild weather in Sydney is increasing and as a homeowner, you might be wondering if plumbing work will be covered under storm and flood insurance. This post is intended to be general advice about what you need to know to protect your home from a storm claim. And a big hint: if your roof, gutters, and drainage are not well maintained, this could cause problems in the event that you need to make a claim.  

Every insurance policy in Australia will have a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which lists the insurable events a customer can claim on. It’s important to understand it is a contract that requires responsibility of the insured to ensure their home is water tight and up-to-date with maintenance to prevent damage that could have been avoided.  

You will find when setting up a new home and contents policy or paying your renewal, as part of disclosure, you actively agree your house is in “good condition and well maintained.” 

The PDS will also outline exclusions under each event. It’s important to read what these exclusions are and how they will affect you if you make a claim.  

The following preventative measures will ensure your home can withstand a storm event.  You will find these may be listed in your PDS as responsibilities of the homeowner.  

Ensuring the roof doesn’t leak when it rains

When was the last time you had a plumber inspect your roof? Are the flashings in good condition around penetrations like the stink pipe or whirly bird? Are there rusted out roof sheets requiring replacement? Do you have broken tiles or missing mortar between the ridge caps?  

If the cause of water entry into your roof is from any of the above, it will be up to your insurer to decide whether the internal damage is claimable. Your insurer will request the points of water ingress from your roof to be repaired at your cost before any internal repairs by the insurer can proceed, if they are accepted.  

Is the stormwater drainage adequate for your home?

Checking over the stormwater drainage – from the gutters to stormwater pits in the ground – is an important maintenance exercise.  

Some questions to consider: 

  • Do your gutters have fall? Are they full of leaf debris?  
  • Can you see any rusting of the gutters or downpipes to your home? 
  • Do the downpipes connect to a lawful point of discharge?  
  • Does your property have enough downpipes to service the water catchment area of your roof? 

Your local Sydney plumber will be able to assist in answering these questions for you. A thorough stormwater drainage check can identify issues before they become a problem during a storm event.  

Moisture inundation

Home insurance is essentially for the unexpected events that cause damage to your home. If you were aware of an issue and did nothing about it, you may not be covered for the damages.  

Water inundation to a home can be preventable in some circumstances, but sometimes too much water in a short period of time (like a flood) can cause damage despite your home being well maintained.  

Moisture inundation is a gradual process and not usually caused by a one-off event.  

Some moisture terms which may be excluded from your insurance include: 

  • Rising damp – preventable and occurs over a period of time, not suddenly. 
  • Seepage – avoidable with waterproofing and adequate stormwater drainage. 
  • Humidity – an atmospheric event which causes damage gradually and not instantaneously.  
  • Rot, corrosion, rust – while not moisture terms, these can be caused by excessive moisture over a long period of time, diminishing the material life of the item.  

Ensuring  your home has a water-tight roof, adequate gutters and downpipes, clear stormwater drains and no rust or corrosion proves you have done all you can to keep your house in good condition.  

Putting an insurance claim in for storm or flood damage can be a trying experience and its best avoided by taking preventative measures to ensure your home stands up to events when they do occur.  

If you’re after a comprehensive inspection of your home and its surrounding stormwater drainage, call Joe from Gladesville Plumbing. We are only too happy to advise on plumbing installations to prevent water ingress into your home this storm season.  


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