Time to check your insurance as Australians warned to brace for more wild weather

From devastating bushfires that tore through picturesque landscapes and rural communities, to relentless storms that flooded our streets and homes, Australia experienced a rough start to 2020. Unfortunately this wild weather is predicted to continue in coming summer months, which will inevitably result in more property damage. This makes it more important than ever to ensure your insurance coverage and policy features are sufficient to protect your assets.

Insurance News have published an article highlighting the findings of a recent report by IAG, which has reported that climate change will be to blame for more commonplace and extreme weather events across Australia in the summer months.

Weather trends

Bushfire risk is set to increase nationwide, tropical cyclones are anticipated to move further inland, and the east coast of Australia will be particularly vulnerable to harsh flash flooding. This is unwelcome news to all Australians after the year it’s been – however, there is something you can do to prepare and protect yourself, and minimise financial losses associated with damage to your home and valued possessions.

Re-evaluate your Home and Contents insurance

Horror stories of underinsurance emerged following the catastrophic weather events of earlier this year, where many Australians were devastated to discover that they were not insured for damage to their homes and possessions as a result of severe weather events and fire.

For example, there are some common property policy coverage limitations when it comes to bushfire. While many insurance policies do cover bushfire, it is important to look into the fine print to understand if there are limitations on what is covered, and under what circumstances. Some common cover limitations can occur as follows:

  1. bushfires are not covered within the first 48 or 72 hours of first taking out a policy – there can be exceptions (e.g. you just purchased or leased the property, or changed policies from another insurer without any break in the period of cover and for the same level of cover)
  2. damage from scorching, burn marks or melting are not covered where there has been no flame, or where there was no burning building within 10 metres of your home
  3. no cover for damage caused by heat, soot, smoke or ash, unless your buildings or contents have caught on fire

(Source: https://insurancelaw.org.au/factsheets/bushfire-insurance-guide-factsheet/)

Sadly, many home owners do not realise their policies have these limitations, and while their home doesn’t necessarily burn down, other damages that occur as a result of a bushfire like paint damage, melting pipes etc. are not always covered.

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, we urge you to re-evaluate your Home and Contents insurance to ensure you are adequately protect to re-coup losses in the event of a claim.

We understand that insurance can seem complex, and you may not know what you are and are not covered for. It is often one of those tasks that end up in the “too hard basket”, however don’t set it aside until it is too late.

If you are unsure about the adequacy of your insurance, contact a Whitbread Home and Contents insurance specialist who will work closely with you to ensure appropriate insurance cover is in place to protect your most valued assets:

T: 1300 424 627
E: info@whitbread.com.au

To read the full article by Insurance News please click here.

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This insight article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of personal advice. Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd ABN 69 005 490 228 Licence Number: 229092 trading as Whitbread Insurance Brokers for further information or refer to our website.

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