Is water damage covered by contents insurance? And is the insurance lodgement a non refundable charge if my claim is denied? Why is it charged? – Anne, QLD

Q: My tenants have just moved out and I have found that the bottoms of the four internal doors have some water damage to the base of them, with the worst being the bathroom door where the door base has expanded quite substantially. The other doors in our house are the same age and there are no issues with them. There is also water damage to the bottom of the vanity unit as well as the drawers. My question is twofold:

1. I have contents insurance only. My insurer has asked that I submit a claim to the body corporate insurance, and if this is denied they will assess it under the contents insurance. Would this type of damage be covered under body corporate insurance? It cannot be proved that the tenants may or may not have contributed to the problem. No maintenance requests were made regarding possible leaks in the vanity.

2. Is the insurance lodgement charge non-refundable if my claim is denied? And also, why is it charged? The cost to repair the damage is about $4000 so I would like to know where I stand. 

A: In case the cause originates from a common property issue, your body corporate insurance will cover the costs. If the cause originates from your lot, then the insurance cover type may be determined under two categories namely, contents insurance – damage to personal belongings, and landlords insurance – damage to the property while renting.

It would be best to review what your contents insurance policy includes to best determine what you are covered for. Regarding your lodgement fee query, insurance policies differ depending on the insurer and type of insurance, so it’s best to liaise with your insurer for further advice and guidance.