By Chris Dougherty, General Manager, Westlawn Insurance 25 September 2014
Storms, bushfires and floods: living in Northern NSW means living with unpredictable and often destructive weather, especially as the summer months approach.
So, before any natural disaster strikes your family home or business, make sure you’re prepared.
First, check your insurance policies. Are you covered for damage caused by rising floodwaters or are you only covered for rainwater runoff? Does any flood cover also include flooding from man-made sources such as overflowing storm water drains or catchments?
Do you have enough cover? Is your current sum insured sufficient to rebuild your family home? For example, stringent regulations introduced following the devastating Victorian bushfires could add from $80,000 to $120,000 to rebuilding costs in fire prone areas.
Immediately following any natural disaster, your highest priority should be the safety of those around you such as family or staff. If damage occurs to your business during working hours, put your emergency plans into place and evacuate the premises where necessary.
Be aware of hazards around the home or business such as broken glass, downed power lines and trees. Shut off power if wires are exposed or if you smell burning. If you require assistance, contact the appropriate emergency services, such as SES, police, fire brigade or ambulance.
Only if it is safe to do so, minimise any further property damage or loss. Check your home or premises and remove any property at risk, including vital business records, to a more secure location.
Businesses should check for failures in critical equipment and begin sourcing replacements as soon as possible. Secure your property by boarding up broken windows and arranging a security guard to protect your premises after hours.
Report any damage to your insurance company or to your Insurance Broker within 24 hours. Complete all claims documentation as soon as practicable while details are fresh in your mind.
Update your emergency plans for your family home and business now … and contact your Westlawn Insurance Broker to ensure you have the right insurance policy for the right sum insured.
Be prepared with a Home Emergency Kit A Home Emergency Kit contains essential items that you may need during and after a severe storm or flooding. It should be able to sustain you and your family for at least 3 days, or longer if you are at risk of being isolated by floodwaters. Your Home Emergency Kit should contain some or all of the following items:
Portable radio & torch (batteries or wind-up)
Mobile phone, spare battery & charger
First Aid kit
Drinking water & non-perishable food (at least 3 days supply)
Any essential medication
Special requirements for babies, the disabled, elderly or pets