Last week wasn’t the easiest for many Perth residents. A positive COVID-19 case in a hotel quarantine security guard saw the city enter a five-day lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. Restaurants, cafés and a range of other venues and businesses were ordered to temporarily halt taking in guests, while schools and childcare centres in potential exposure zones were shut down for the lockdown’s duration.
Meanwhile, a bushfire in the Perth hills that began last Monday quickly got out of control, burning through thousands of hectares of land and resulting in at least 86 property losses and $40 million in estimated losses. With a University of Tasmania study showing that up to 10% of homeowners do not have home insurance, and 40% of renters do not have contents insurance, the toll of the bushfire is set to be considerable.
Danny Mountford, senior account executive at McLardy McShane WA, told Insurance Business that his clients had been very fortunate during this tumultuous period and that he was not aware of any who were planning to make claims in relation to either the bushfire or the lockdown.
“I live in the Perth hills myself, and although I was about 25 kilometres away from where it was all happening and wasn’t directly affected, I can tell you that I’m not happy about those 86 homes that were lost and those facilities and vehicles that have been destroyed by the fire,” Mountford said.
“However, my clients have been very fortunate and, to my knowledge, remain unscathed to this point.”
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For Kim Gilbert, founder and chief executive at Perth-based brokerage Zenith Insurance, the “short, sharp lockdown” had an immediate impact on his firm’s aged and community care clients.
“They weren’t able to let any outside visitors in, really, with the exception of employees and other relevant medical professionals,” Gilbert said to Insurance Business, adding that though he talks to his clients regularly, he, too, had not received any claims from clients affected by the shutdown or the bushfire.
“We thankfully haven’t had another COVID case since that first one, and I’m hoping that we will be able to effectively return to business as usual in a few days,” he noted.