Home Insurance for Storm Cover and Hail Damage

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Updated 11/04/2024
What changed?
Updated what is and isn’t usually covered, expanded section on Australia’s storm season, added information for submitting a claim
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Written by

Francis Taylor

Updated 11/04/2024

What changed?

Updated what is and isn’t usually covered, expanded section on Australia’s storm season, added information for submitting a claim
Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.

Find out more about how we make money.

View our Privacy Policy.

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Does Home and Contents Insurance cover storm and hail damage?
What does it usually cover?
What usually isn’t covered?
How do I make a claim for hail and storm damage?
Do I live in an area at risk for storms?
Where can I compare Home and Contents Insurance?

Does Home and Contents Insurance cover storm and hail damage? 

If you have a Home and Contents Insurance Policy, you may already be covered for storm and hail damage. It tends to come standard with this kind of insurance, rather than being an extra. Of course, if you want to be double sure, you can always read your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to see how your policy handles storm and hail. 

What does it usually cover? 

As part of your storm cover, you’ll usually find damage or loss from lightning, cyclones, strong winds, hail, snow and rainwater included. Additionally, you might be covered for damage caused by earth movement up to 72 hours after the storm, since saturated ground can shift about as it struggles to soak up all that rain.

So, if parts of your place are struggling to weather even a sunny day after a severe storm, your Home and Contents Insurance could cover getting things back to normal again. This includes the structure of your home, plus fixtures like your fence if they were in good nick before the storm struck, and belongings damaged or lost in the storm. 

What usually isn’t covered? 

Unfortunately, not everything under the sun is covered by your Home and Contents Insurance when it comes to storms. This can include the specific circumstances around how things got damaged or lost. For instance, while you might have cover for hail smashing a hole through your roof and rain soaking your brand-new couch, it could be a different story if hail and rain make their way into your home and onto your couch thanks to an open window.  

The same goes for the wind toppling parts of your home that you knew weren’t exactly match-fit. Turns out keeping your home in good condition isn’t just a great way to make your neighbours jealous; it could also help with your insurance claim. This could mean getting on top of pre-existing damage, like leaks, holes and rust, as well as getting vermin like termites cleared out. 

While it mightn’t be the same as pre-existing damage, the same rules may apply if rain happens to get in where you’re adding on or renovating your home.  

Along with a few different events and circumstances, your Home and Contents Insurance may not extend storm cover to a variety of items. This can include: 

  • Gardens, including borders and artificial grass and turf 
  • Retaining walls 
  • Water, liners and covers of swimming pools and spas 
  • Driveways 
  • Sports courts with fixed surfaces 

To get a clearer picture of what’s in and what’s out when it comes to your storm cover, your policy’s PDS should have the full story. 

Helpful Tip

While you might be covered for storms, your Home and Contents Insurance may not include cover for floods. However, you may be able to purchase this as an extra — it could be worth the additional premium if you know you live in a flood-risk area or don’t want to find out the hard way.

How do I make a claim for hail and storm damage? 

Once the storm is over, and it’s safe to do so, you might like to take a tour around your place to assess the damage. Taking photos and videos, along with measurements, could help you create a list for your insurer. To ensure you don’t miss anything, you may want to go room by room, looking for damage like broken windows, wet carpets, and watermarked or leaking ceilings. Remember though, if it was damaged prior to the storm, you probably won’t be able to claim it. 

While your roof may have borne the brunt of the storm, you might want to end your home assessment before the first rung of a ladder. Since walking on roofs can be dangerous — not to mention may lead to more damage to your roof — it may be a better idea to get a professional.  

With your assessment complete and evidence collected, it’s claim time. To put together and submit your claim, there’s only a few simple steps:

Collate photos along with details of the incident, like what happened and when, along with any damage reports or evidence of ownership 

Submit the claim to the insurer via their dedicated services, like an online portal or phone number 

Meet with the insurer’s assessor, if needed, so they can check that the damage or loss was caused by the storm, as well as understand what needs fixing

Wait for the claim to be processed — while this tends to take up to 10 business days, if the storm did a number on lots of places, things might take a little longer 

Something you might like to keep in mind is that your policy may have a time limit for when you can make a claim. So, while there could be a lot on your to-do list after a storm, you may want to prioritise getting your claim sent off. 

Do I live in an area at risk for storms? 

Wherever you go in Australia, storms aren’t completely out of the realm of possibility. However, there are some places where you might need to break out the wet weather gear more often. The east coast of Australia from central QLD down to central NSW tends to be an overachiever in this regard.  

Source: Bureau of Meteorology – Severe Storms Archive

Note: These charts represent instances of severe rain and hail, rather than separate storm events. This means there may be multiple instances for one event. Additionally, NSW data includes ACT data. 

As a result, getting to know when storm season is for you may be worth your while. This could help you prepare your place to come off as lightly as possible — as well as prove a good reminder for you to check your Home and Contents Insurance is up to date.  

Across the country, storm season tends to be from September to March but it does vary a bit by region. For instance, if you live in WA’s southwest, May through to October will likely be when you see more severe storms, while in the Pilbara and Kimberley it’s November to April. On the other side of the country, QLD has their storm and cyclone season from October to April. 

FYI: the storms we’re talking about here are the severe kind. These are the ones that come with heavy rainfall, large hail (think 2cm or greater in diameter), damaging winds that can hit 90km/h or more, and even tornadoes. With this kind of power, homes in areas where these sorts of storms are more common may find they have higher premiums as a result. 

Speaking with your local council, emergency services organisation or even your insurer could help you understand how likely severe storms are in your area.  

Where can I compare Home and Contents Insurance? 

If you’re worried your bank account might not be able to weather a classic summer storm, Home and Contents Insurance could be the answer. With iSelect, we can help you compare a selection of Home and Contents Policies, including storm cover, to find peace of mind.* You can get started today with our online comparison tool or by talking to one of our comparison experts on 13 19 20

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