Insurance Brokers Australia offers businesses tips on preparing for climate catastrophes

Combined insurance damage from 2021-22 storms was $5.92 billion, insurer reports

Insurance Brokers Australia offers businesses tips on preparing for climate catastrophes

Catastrophe & Flood

By Roxanne Libatique

With Australian businesses facing numerous extreme weather events annually, Insurance Brokers Australia (IBA) has offered tips on preparing for climate catastrophes.

The combined insurance damage from the 2021 and 2022 storms and flooding was $5.92 billion, with over 296,000 claims lodged, according to IBA.

In its latest article, the business insurance provider said preparing for extreme weather events could go a long way towards protecting businesses from the worst-case scenario. You may wish to pass on some of the tips to your clients.

How to reduce the impact of floods on businesses

The most common issue during heavy rainfall season is flooding. Therefore, IBA advised businesses to secure their doors, windows, and roof coverings. It also noted the Insurance Council of Australia’s (ICA) tips on reducing the potential impact of flooding on property, finances, and wellbeing:

  • Review all building, contents, and landlord insurance policies and check cover for flood, storm, and temporary accommodation for people and pets;
  • Review the sum insured for building and contents, including if the amount matches the current replacement, repair, and rebuild costs for property and contents;
  • Prepare a room-by-room inventory of your business’s contents to determine if you have enough insurance and save time when making a claim;
  • Ensure you are covered before the forecasted La Nina rain starts to fall because some insurers place a temporary embargo on the sale of new policies if storm and flooding are imminent; and
  • Clear the gutters and downpipes to help water escape to reduce the risk of overflow and damage to walls and ceilings.

Seek professional advice to prepare for climate catastrophes

Part of preparing for climate catastrophes is seeking advice from professionals, such as insurance brokers, to better understand how to manage risks associated with extreme weather events.

“It’s never too late to draw up a plan that can help protect you for these events, and if you do have one, now is the time to review it and update it to take into consideration your current needs – especially with the number of extreme weather events that have been occurring,” IBA said.

Australian government schemes for extreme weather events

Taking out insurance is part of a risk management plan. However, underinsured businesses might need extra help from the government.

For example, business owners in Lismore in northern New South Wales (NSW) received refurbished laptops, tablets, and desktop computers from the city council months after the devastating flood in February and March 2022 – also known as Australia’s costliest flood and third-costliest natural disaster.

“While you’re unable to predict how your business may be affected during climate catastrophes, taking appropriate action to prepare may help you continue to trade or get up and running as soon as possible in the event of a natural disaster,” IBA said.

Gallagher also released a flood survival guide for business owners, including how to prepare their premises for flood evacuation.

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