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Disaster Season is Here – Are you ready?

Between the months of November to April, floods, cyclones, bushfires and other forces of nature seem to come together to wreak havoc one after the other — leaving us with devastating damage and, of course, expensive repair bills.

Well, it’s that time of the year again. Have you made the necessary inspections to your property? Have you made sure that it is secured should Mother Nature decide not to spare you the destruction she brings forth?

Bear in mind that arranging insurance coverage for a damaged property after disaster has struck is not allowable. Hence, early risk management is a fundamental step you should not miss.

Here’s a checklist for you:

  • Check the validity of the insurance policy. Oftentimes, owners fail to check if their policy has lapsed, putting their property at risk.
  • Make sure that you have adequate coverage. There’s been many cases in Australia where properties are underinsured. And to make matters worse, owners often find out about this only at claim time.
  • Check the specific risks are that are covered by the policy.  There are a lot of policies that do not include flood cover, so it really pays to double check.
  • Learn the policy. First, check the inclusions and exclusions. It’s important that you know what risks you are covered for. Find out the limitations as well as the excesses that apply. Remember that not all policies are the same, so it is crucial that  you specifically include the events that you think you need cover for.
  • Be aware of your responsibilities under cover like the loss mitigation clauses. Failure to limit losses could cause you some unfavorable consequences during claim time, so it is best that you and your property manager have a good understanding of this clause. Know the requirements for repairs. Secure insurer’s authorisation (if necessary) for urgent and non-urgent repairs before the work is commissioned.
  • For those who are not aware of this, the policy can become void if the property owner has failed to keep on top of the property maintenance.
  • Inform tenants that getting their own contents insurance is necessary as the landlord insurance is not going to cover their personal possessions.
  • For property owners who have home and contents insurance, you might need to read your policy carefully as it may not cover if your home is being rented out. Risks such as loss of rent, which is only applicable to investment properties, are only covered by a specialised landlord insurance.

If you have not done any or most of these, then we suggest you take action now. Speak to your insurance broker or a specialist landlord insurer to help you check the coverage of your policy and to arrange the right cover if need be.