Sharyn Avery lost everything when water entered her Brisbane house and shop, but was it a flood?
The water marks on the ceiling and the mud over all of her possessions certainly point to flooding, but Ms Avery may have to go to court to prove it.
She is one of thousands of people in Australia's flood-hit states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria coming to terms with the notion that, while they were hit by what looked like a flood and felt like a flood, they have not legally been the victims of a flood.
As always, the insurance fine print speaks volumes. Flood-hit homeowners and businesses are being asked to consider the differences between the effects of inundation caused by a storm, flash floods or river flooding.
"The water came from the sky," says Ms Avery. "Whether the river's risen or whatever, it's the same rain that's caused all of this."
Most people were covered for the flash variety of flood, not the slow-rising river type. This means many people in Brisbane may not have been covered when the river burst its banks.
"If you don't laugh you cry," says Bill Gilbert, a truck driver who has lived in the outer Brisbane suburbs for 29 years. "I've been fed this rubbish for days. It wasn't a flood. It was the great rising river of 2011."
Asked whether they would be making ex-gratia payments to policyholders, the chiefs of the leading home and contents insurers in Queensland all refused to commit last week.
No one has yet produced a bill for the insurance sector but insurers have only received about 31,300 claims in Queensland - a fraction of the number expected.
In a bid to avert a confrontation with the insurance industry, the Australian government has announced the possible introduction of a one-off levy imposed on all Australians to pay the entire flood damage bill.
The conservative opposition immediately baulked at the idea and called for the government to sell public-owned assets to help flood victims.
As the mud-slinging continued, the Queensland premier Anna Bligh said 5,400 homes had been flooded over their floorboards, 21,000 had been flooded under that level, and 15,000 had water in their yards. Ninety-seven towns were affected by serious flooding or were isolated, and 90,000km of local roads were damaged.
The southern state of Victoria is also counting the cost since: 72 towns and 1,773 properties have been hit be rising waters. Repairing the damage in that state is expected to cost about US$2 billion (Dh7.34bn).
Estimates of the total recovery bill across all states range between $6bn and $20bn, with most economists settling on the higher figure.
In its most recent report, the Australian bureau of agricultural resources and economics says floods will cost at least $500 million in lost farm produce and $2.5bn in coal exports.
The bureau says about 15 million fewer tonnes of coal will be exported in the first quarter of this year, while the production of fruit and vegetables, cotton, grain sorghum and winter crops will all be significantly affected.
Paul Morris, the deputy executive director of the bureau, points out it is too early to assess the full impact of the flooding.
"The infrastructure damage is likely to be much greater than the estimated production impact," Mr Morris says.