Businesses more vulnerable to extreme weather events

Businesses more vulnerable to extreme weather events

Businesses more vulnerable to extreme weather events A year on from the Anzac Day hailstorm that decimated parts of Sydney, business owners are being warned of the risks of more extreme weather events.

Understand Insurance spokesman Campbell Fuller said storms can often leave overall repair bills that are comparable to cyclones when they strike heavily populated areas – even though damage to individual properties is usually much smaller. So brokers need to ensure their clients have adequate cover in place in the event of serious damnage.

“In April last year, Sydney and the Hunter region of NSW were hammered by a severe low pressure system that produced more than 135,000 claims and insured losses of $950 million”, he said.

 “Just days later, the Anzac Day hailstorm caused insured losses in Sydney of $417 million from almost 17,000 claims. The combined cost to insurers of those two events is equivalent to Cyclone Yasi.”

Fuller said the risk of winter storms was equally applicable to businesses as it is to homeowners.

“Severe storms don’t distinguish between homes and small business premises. A sizeable proportion of the insured losses from these events is typically commercial in nature.”

He said businesses can be even more at risk than households because they also risk losing productivity and income if damage to their premises and assets is sufficiently severe.

“Business owners can purchase a range of insurance products to protect their SMEs against the threat of natural disasters, such as property, commercial vehicle and business interruption insurance.