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Insurer stands ground on Collaroy sea damage response

NRMA Insurance has defended its decision not to cover sea erosion damage to properties in Collaroy after June’s east coast low.

An IAG spokesman says claims were examined case by case to see how they could be paid under each customer’s policy, and the cause of damage was determined by geo-tech experts.

“We are covering a number of residents in Collaroy under storm damage, where we have found the damage was caused by the storm,” she told “Where there is erosion or damage caused by the sea, then unfortunately those components are not covered.”

She says the company has contacted customers in Collaroy to check on their safety, arranged more than a dozen urgent repairs to prevent further loss and damage and had staff dedicated to customers in the northern beaches area.

IAG notes most policies in Australia do not cover for erosion or damage caused by the sea.

Rival insurer Youi says it has taken a flexible approach towards damage to seafront properties.

Head of Communications Trevor Devitt told the company has made an exception and accepted claims in two instances.

“Like most policies, ours does exclude the action of the seas,” he said. “However, we considered the direness of the circumstances and agreed not to apply that exclusion.

“From our perspective, we look at the policy terms and conditions and we look at the unique circumstances of each and every claim, and we would then make an appropriate decision.”

Insurance Council of Australia spokesman Campbell Fuller says home insurance policies typically do not cover damage caused by actions of the sea, and this is stated clearly in product disclosure statements.

“A small number of policies on the market will cover actions of the sea under certain conditions,” he said. “Homeowners who require this type of cover should shop around for the appropriate policy.”