Flood Lawyer Tweed Heads and NSW

An expert flood insurance claims lawyer can make all the difference

Between New South Wales and Queensland, there have been around ten major floods in the last ten years. Even if the chances of a river near you flooding are one in a hundred years, who’s to say that chance won’t strike today or tomorrow? No matter the odds, it’s always best to be protected.

At Main Lawyers, we’re here to help if you’ve been affected by a flood and your insurer has rejected your claim. We’re expert flood lawyers and we’ve successfully won a number of flood insurance claims for our clients.

We’re based in Coolangatta, Gold Coast and offer mobile services for flood affected people in Brisbane, Townsville, Gold Coast, Tweed River and surrounds. We may still be able to help if you’re looking for a flood lawyer anywhere else in Queensland or New South Wales.

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You may have a valid flood damage claim, even if it’s been rejected by your insurer

It is quite often that insurance companies reject claims for flood or rainwater damage to homes, properties, equipment and businesses. In some instances, this decision may be correct, but there are others where it may not be. It all comes down to what your insurance policy covers and the hydrological evidence put forth.

As expert flood lawyers, we have successfully helped a number of NSW & QLD families and businesses claim compensation for flood damage. Take business owner Greg Milham, for example, whose claim was rejected three times before he approached our team and was able to succeed.

If your flood insurance claim has been rejected anywhere in NSW, contact us today!

Our expert flood lawyers have helped many others successfully gain flood damage compensation even when their initial claims were rejected.

1

Contact Us

Call us on 1800 112 466 or enquire online to book in a free consultation with our principal lawyer to learn more about your rights.

2

Free Initial Consultation

Consult with our principal solicitor about your situation and receive a FREE assessment of your case, within 24 hours.

3

Make Informed Decisions

Once you have all the information on your rights & legal options you can then make an informed decision as to how to proceed.

Flood Insurance Claims Process

Early Superannuation Access & Financial Hardship

Severe financial hardship is a ground of early release of super of which you can make a claim.

You may be given early access to a portion of your balance to meet immediate reasonable expenses. Early access is subject to certain conditions and can only be offered in one payment of no more than $10,000 (including tax) in any 12 month period.

In general terms, here are the rules:

  1. You have been receiving Commonwealth Government income support, for example, unemployment benefits, for at least 26 weeks, continuously, and the trustee of your super fund is satisfied that you can’t meet immediate reasonable family expenses.
  2. Or, if you’ve reached your preservation age (from age 55 to 65, depending on your date of birth), you may be able to receive your entire super amount if you’ve been in receipt of government income support for at least 39 weeks.

If you need to make an application for Severe Financial Hardship you can contact your super fund directly and request the forms you’ll need to fill.

Keep in mind that withdrawing superannuation for Severe Financial Hardship usually affects your tax amount and you may also need to pay extra fees.

Early Super Access on Compassionate Grounds

Compassionate grounds includes the following:

  1. Contributing to your mortgage to stop the bank selling your home.
  2. To pay for medical treatment, or travel to treatment.
  3. To modify your home or car following injury or disability.
  4. Palliative care for you or a dependant.
  5. Funeral costs for a dependant.

The application usually goes through to the Department of Human Services.

Keep in mind that withdrawing superannuation for compassionate grounds usually affects your tax amount and you may also need to pay extra fees.

Making a TPD & Superannuation Claim

If you make an application for a TPD benefit, and it’s approved, you can then apply separately to withdraw some (or all) of your account balance in your super fund on the grounds of Permanent Incapacity.

Things can get a bit tricky as each super fund arranges life insurance differently and they offer different policies as well. You may still be able to make a successful claim even if your first attempt was rejected.

To get the compensation you deserve, it’s always best to seek expert legal and financial advice. Our TPD lawyers Gold Coast can help you make a claim from your superannuation. 

Also, keep in mind that withdrawing superannuation for Permanent Incapacity usually affects your tax amount and you may also need to pay extra fees.

How does the law define a flood?

An important consideration which will affect whether you can make a flood insurance claim is whether the damage was caused by a flood, storm, heavy rain or run-off. A flood is defined as:

“ the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any of the following:

(a) a lake (whether or not it has been altered or modified);

(b) a river (whether or not it has been altered or modified);

(c) a creek (whether or not it has been altered or modified);

(d) another natural watercourse (whether or not it has been altered or modified);

(e) a reservoir;

(f) a canal;

(g) a dam.”

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To assess whether or not a flood has occurred it may be important to know:

Timing: At what time did the water peak? At what time did the water first enter the premises? Are there gauges to prove this? Did the water rise at a constant level or was there a rapid increase and decrease in water levels?

Rainfall data: Is there data regarding the rainfall levels and timings? If so, how does that coincide with the water entering the premises? Was it raining when the water first entered the premises?

The premises: What is the colour of the waters left in the premises (ie muddy or clear?). What damage was done to the building. Is there evidence on the building regarding where the water came in (ie hole in the roof; higher water marks on one side of the building; Is there evidence that water came through the drains?

Witness evidence: Were there witnesses? What is their evidence regarding the direction of waterflow, timings, levels and colour.

From where did the water come? What direction?

What is the distance to the lake, river, creek, reservoir, dam, canal or another natural watercourse from which the waters supposedly came?

What is the topography and geography like between the lake, river, creek, reservoir, dam, canal or another natural watercourse from which the waters supposedly came and the subject premises?

Have other premises in or around you submitted claims? If so, were they also declined because of the flood exclusion and by which insurer?

These are a few of the questions and information needed to assess a flood claim. Generally, it is best to undertake a site inspection at the premises to assess a potential claim. In most instances evidence from an hydrologist will be needed.

How long will the claim process take?

If your claim has not been lodged yet, it could take up to a month or so for the insurer to obtain hydrological evidence and make a decision. If the decision is to deny the claim (as having a flood exclusion), then you may wish to receive your own hydrological evidence and seek an internal review of the insurer’s decision. This may take a further couple of months.

If the claim is declined, you have two separate and very different avenues of recourse: The Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”) and the Courts. There are advantages and disadvantages to both avenues. We will happily discuss this with you in your free initial consultation with us. In either situation, you could generally expect at least 12-18 months before your matter is resolved.

If your claim has not been lodged yet, it could take up to a month or so for the insurer to obtain hydrological evidence and make a decision. If the decision is to deny the claim (as having a flood exclusion), then you may wish to receive your own hydrological evidence and seek an internal review of the insurer’s decision. This may take a further couple of months.

If the claim is declined, you have two separate and very different avenues of recourse: The Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”) and the Courts. There are advantages and disadvantages to both avenues. We will happily discuss this with you in your free initial consultation with us. In either situation, you could generally expect at least 12-18 months before your matter is resolved.

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How much will all of this cost?

It all depends upon the complexity of your case, the number of witnesses you have and the number of experts (including hydrologists) we will need to pursue your matter. In some circumstances some legal costs are paid by the Flood insurer. Those costs can be 50% – 70% of your final legal bill with us.

An estimated range of our costs is given to you at our initial consultation after getting details of your claim and assessing the complexity of the matter. Flood insurance matters are time costed. That is, we charge for the amount of time we put into your claim.

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland and/or New South Wales compensation law and is current at time of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be used as such. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 314 761 for a free discussion of your matter with one of our experienced lawyers.

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