Disaster season risk mitigation strategies for your home or business
Follow our insurance tips:
- Reassess your cover every year. Consider whether any changes are needed to your insurances – you may need to look at more than building and contents insurance, and consider other property cover such as boats and cars or farm machinery, business disruption, income protection, or even liability cover.
- Understand the policies you have, the inclusions (what contingencies you are covered for) and any exclusions (what you aren’t covered for).
- Ensure your cover is up-to-date, your policy is current (paid) and the level of cover is sufficient.
- Make sure your building insurance is adequate to cover the real cost of rebuilding – the sum insured for buildings should be based on replacement value rather than market value.
- Don’t forget to include the cost of replacing ordinary household items such as clothing, crockery and linen when deciding how much to insure contents for.
- If you are renting, you need your own contents policy, as your landlord’s insurance does not cover your possessions.
- Keep receipts for expensive valuables and consider having these items specified on the policy.
- Record details of the property and its contents (an inventory). Store copies of the inventory, receipts, photos/video and other documents that may be needed to claim in the cloud or email to yourself, so you’re not relying on paper records alone.
- Ensure that your property has been adequately maintained (neglecting maintenance can void a policy).
- If a severe weather front is approaching, put all important documents, including insurance papers, in a weather-proof container (and store electronic copies in the cloud).
- Follow the usual general guidelines for storm, bushfire or cyclone preparedness with evacuation plans, emergency kits etc.
- If you suffer a weather-related loss, contact your broker as soon as possible so you can head the queue for insurance assessors and repairers.
- Check with your broker before authorising any building work, including emergency repairs.
- If the property is unsafe, check with your broker about claiming temporary accommodation expenses.
- Take photos/video of damage and keep samples of materials, especially if you need to dispose of items that pose a health risk (such as saturated carpets).
- Keep any items that could be repaired (check with your broker).
- Don’t panic if you can’t find your insurance paperwork – your broker will have details.