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Insurance Claims Update: The impact of stage 4 Coronavirus restrictions on property claims

By Renee Cassidy on

With Stage 4 Coronavirus restrictions having been imposed in the Melbourne metropolitan area for several weeks, there has been an impact to the way businesses are legally allowed to operate for the duration of this period.

Unfortunately these restrictions have had an unprecedented impact on the progression of insurance claims, whereby builders and other repair and maintenance companies are only legally permitted to carry out a very limited scope of works.

This article seeks to address frequently asked questions in relation to the impact of stage 4 restrictions on strata property insurance claims.

What types of insurance claims repairs are permitted to be carried out in Melbourne throughout stage 4 restrictions? 

As outlined by the Victorian government, only critical, urgent or emergency insurance claims repairs are permitted to be carried out in the Melbourne area throughout this restricted period. Non-critical insurance claims repairs are to be deferred until advised by the Victorian government. Please see below for general examples of critical and non-critical works.

Critical works

  • Repairs to ensure the security of the home and any external openings (gaping roofs, fallen trees, break ins)
  • Repairs to secure and/or replace any vital building structure (walls or ceilings at risk of collapsing)
  • Repairs to secure or replace broken glass
  • Repairs to ensure the house is habitable and safe (e.g. heating, water, power, pest control, mould remediation etc.)
  • Motor vehicle assistance and repairs are able to continue, provided the individual businesses conducting these services have a COVID safe plan in place.

Non-critical works

  • Painting repairs to ceiling and walls in a garage or external area
  • External repairs that are not required to secure the main building structure
  • Repairs to rectify internal superficial damages that do not present a health and safety hazard (e.g. floor scratches, water stains, and walls/ceilings that only require minor paint repairs)

In addition to this information, the below diagram illustrates a guide of the different types of work legally permitted at commercial and residential properties.

 Claims article graphic

Image content source: Advanced Buildings

Please note: the above information applies to metropolitan Melbourne only. For regional areas, most repairs are generally allowed to proceed if they are in line with government guidelines and social distancing practices.

Am I still able to lodge a non-urgent insurance claim throughout this period?

Yes, you are still welcome and able to lodge an insurance claim of a non-urgent nature.  The Whitbread claims team and our partner insurers are monitoring incoming non-critical insurance claims throughout this restricted period, and subsequently, planning for the appropriate non-urgent works to take place once restrictions have been eased.

For more information on how to lodge an insurance claim, please click here.

What if I need to contact my broker, claims consultant or insurer? Will stage 4 impact your services?

Whitbread and our insurer partners have been working remotely for quite some time, however, we assure you that it is business as usual, and we are collectively committed to providing you with the same reliable, quality service, to ensure the best claim outcome for you.

For more information on the Whitbread team working remotely, please click here.

We are here to help. Please contact your Whitbread Insurance broker or claims consultant for more information. We are always happy to assist you wherever we can in these trying times.

T: 1300 424 627

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Note: Every effort has been made to ensure the information presented in this article is accurate at the time of publication. Given the pace at which changes are occurring in Victoria this information may have been superseded by more recent COVID-19 restriction updates. 

This insight article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of personal advice.  Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd ABN 69 005 490 228 Licence Number: 229092 trading as Whitbread Insurance Brokers for further information or refer to our website.   

The Whitbread Channel

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