Most people are aware that flooding water can cause extensive damage to their home, contents and valuables. But did you know that depending on their type, floods can develop very slowly over time after extensive rains or in just a few minutes, very quickly, without any sign of rain? So, when it comes to looking at flood cover, there are several factors to consider. Most importantly, the risk of a flood occurring is generally reflected in the cost of your premium. This means that if you live in a higher risk flood zone then you’ll generally pay a higher premium.

It’s important to recognise that not all flood cover is the same. Consider the following when making a decision about flood cover.

1. Check your local area flood risk

Talk to your local council to find out the flood mapping for your home’s location. It’s important to regularly check to see if there is an update to your risk level too, as building development, road works, changes to drainage and sewerage and agricultural developments can all impact the flood risk.

2. Talk to your insurer to ascertain what you are covered for

In Australia, flood is generally defined as "The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any lake, or any river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified; or any reservoir, canal, or dam.” So, when making a decision about flood cover, consider the likelihood of your house being flooded, the potential severity, the materials, size and floor levels of your house, and of course, your fixtures, fittings and contents– if you’ve renovated or put in new carpet for example, make sure you review your insurance policy to ensure that you are adequately covered.

3. Don't be complacent

That is don’t assume that if you live in a relatively flat area that’s miles away from a water source that you can’t be impacted by floods. As seen in the 2016 flood events in the NSW Central West region and likewise the devastation that hit Queensland in the summer of 2010-2011, the damaging waters can take days, weeks or even months to arrive and in addition to damage they inflict, they can also cause isolation, especially for those in rural areas and on properties.

Floodwater can place lives at risk and cause irreparable damage to your home and contents

It’s important to regularly review your insurance policies and make sure they are up to date and cover the types of flood events that could happen in your area. Find out more practical tips on preparing for a flood with CGU's Flood Tips and QLD SES' Are You Prepared resources.

This page provides general advice that has been sourced from emergency services.  For up-to-date and specific advice relating to the risks in your area please speak to your local council or emergency services.

Insurance issued by Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 (IAL) trading as CGU. Any advice is general only and doesn’t take into account your personal circumstances. Consider the relevant PDS available in branch to see if a product is right for you. Queensland Country Bank Limited ABN 77 087 651 027 AFSL 244533 acts under an agreement with IAL.