Victorians are being urged to check their home insurance policy, as the state records a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, the largest in nearly 200 years. The quake hit near Mansfield, about 150 kilometres east of Melbourne, at around 9:15 a.m. AEST today.
Emergency services reported tremors as far north as Dubbo and Sydney, both about 700km from the epicentre.
Finder checked 11 home insurance policies and all cover earthquake damage, although the exclusion period varies from 3 to 7 days.
Comments from Taylor Blackburn, insurance specialist at Finder:
- “If you already have a policy and your home or building was damaged, you should be covered.
- “If you didn’t have a home insurance policy at least 72 hours prior to the earthquake occurring, you won’t be covered for any damage to your building it caused.
- “Most policies have exclusion periods for specific insured events such as a quake to prevent people from simply taking out a policy just before damage occurs.
- “If you don’t have home insurance, you can compare popular brands side-by-side on Finder.
- “You won’t be covered for Wednesday’s earthquake but it can protect you from loss or damage in the future.”
To make a home insurance claim, there are the 3 steps to follow:
- Ensure that your property is safe and secure. You may need to call 000 or the SES. Call your insurer and let it know what has happened – it may be able to send out an emergency tradesperson if immediate help is needed.
- Collect evidence. Take as many photos and videos of the damage as possible. Begin collecting receipts and invoices for damaged items to prove your expenses.
- Send evidence to the insurer. Once you’ve collected all the evidence, you can submit your home insurance claim. You can usually do this online or by mail. It usually takes insurers up to 10 days to respond to your claim. However, the earthquake is likely to result in multiple claims so it may take longer to process yours.