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EBM Blog - Are you prepared for cyclone season?

26 Nov 2015 | Added by EBM



Every time a cyclone warning is issued, our phones in the area ring hot – but, by then, it’s too late to insure against the incoming threat.


The Australian tropical cyclone season runs from 1 November to 30 April, with around eleven tropical cyclones each season. Homeowners, renters and businesses need to assess their insurance before the potential big one is on its way.


That’s because you cannot take out a new policy to insure against a cyclone that has already been named, and some policies will not cover loss from storms, cyclones or floods that occur within 72 hours of taking out the cover.


Underinsurance of both buildings and contents is common in cyclone-prone areas.


Many people forget to re-evaluate the sum insured as they acquire more possessions – and some forget to include items such as clothing, shoes, cutlery, crockery, liquor, toys, linen, outdoor furniture, garden equipment and tools, all of which cost money to replace.


Other people underestimate rebuilding costs and renters often mistakenly think the landlord’s insurance will also cover their possessions.


It can be frustrating for individuals trying to find insurers who will cover homes located above the 26th parallel – but a call to your local broker can eliminate the need for a ring-around.


Insurance tips

  1. Reassess your level of cover every year.
  2. Make sure your building insurance is adequate to cover the real cost of rebuilding; the sum insured for insurance should be based on a building’s replacement value rather than its market value.
  3. Don’t forget to include the cost of replacing ordinary household items such as clothing, crockery and linen when deciding how much to insure for contents. When compiling a list of contents, many people also forget to look high and low, i.e. to include floor rugs, pictures on walls etc.
  4. A video or photographs of each room in the house, including items like jewellery, can greatly assist when it comes to remembering your possessions and substantiating any loss.
  5. Keep an up-to-date list of major possessions and their serial numbers. (Email it to yourself, so you’re not totally relying on paper records.)
  6. Keep receipts for expensive valuables such as jewellery items and consider having these items specified on the insurance policy.
  7. Don’t automatically stick with the same insurer – some charge markedly more than others for some items.
  8. Compare policies on the level of cover, and any excesses applicable, not just the cost of the premium.
  9. If a cyclone is pending, put all important documents, including insurance papers, in a water tight container.
  10. Follow the usual guidelines for cyclone preparation with emergency kits etc.

If you live in an area at risk of cyclones, and would like to discuss your options, contact your local EBM Insurance Broker.



Our advice about insurance is provided for your general information and does not take into account your individual needs.  You should read the Product Disclosure Statement and Policy Wording prior to making a decision, these can be obtained directly from EBM.