Just picture it: you’re relaxing on the sofa, icy cold drink in one hand, TV remote in the other, listening to the summer rain on your roof and watching the raindrops trickle down your window – only to discover that the water is running down the inside of the glass. Now don’t you wish you’d been storm ready?
Dangerous storms are the most common natural hazard in Australia causing more damage and destruction than cyclones, earthquakes, floods and bushfires.
Help protect your property from storm season damage with these practical tips:
- Check your roof for damage (cracked ridge capping, loose or broken tiles, loose nails or sheeting).
- Clear gutters, drains and downpipes of leaves and blockages.
- Trim branches around the property to prevent them falling on roofs or cars.
- Hire a contractor to clear trees from power lines and ask your council or power company to trim overhanging street trees.
- Clear rubbish from your yard and put away any loose objects, use sandbags to weigh down light objects rather than bricks which can become airborne missiles.
- Make sure you have an emergency plan and prepare an emergency kit with portable radio, torch, spare batteries, first aid materials and a mobile phone with emergency numbers.
- Move vehicles under cover.
- Ensure boats are securely moored.
- Make sure your family and pets are safe, preferably indoors, away from windows.
- Keep abreast of the latest weather info at www.bom.gov.au.
- Check you have adequate insurance cover.
It’s a sad fact that many people find themselves uninsured or underinsured when disaster strikes. The Insurance Council of Australia estimates that more than 40% of households fail to correctly assess the value of their home and contents, leaving them exposed to financial loss.
- Make sure you have the right cover – home & contents for homeowners, contents insurance for renters, landlord’s insurance, business cover (including for those who work from home) etc.
- Reassess your level of cover each year or more frequently if your circumstances and assets change.
- Make sure your building insurance will cover the real cost of rebuilding – base your sums on replacement value rather than market value.
- Don’t forget to include the cost of replacing everyday household and personal items including clothing, linen and kitchenware.
- Itemise high value items on your policy, such as jewellery, art, appliances, electronics etc., or take out separate cover for specific items and collectibles as many policies have a value limit that can be claimed for single items.
- Keep an up-to-date list of major possessions including serial numbers, certificates, receipts, evaluations etc. together with photographs (don’t rely on a hardcopy file only; keep the info/images on a USB, email it to yourself, keep a copy locked in a friend/relative’s safe or in a bank safety deposit box).
- Keep a video or photographs of each room in the property to help substantiate any loss.
- Check your policies are up-to-date and that premiums are current.
- Compare policies for the level of cover, exclusions and excesses payable – not just price.
If you take a few practical steps to ready your property for storms and make sure that you have the right insurances in place, you won’t be caught out by our powerful summer storms.
To find out more about the range of insurances available to cover property damage, contact us.
The above advice is general advice and has not taken into account your personal circumstances, be sure to read the appropriate Product Disclosure Statement to ensure the policy meets your individual circumstances.