Can your insurance policy weather the storm?
No matter where your business is in Australia, you are likely to be confronted with extreme weather events or natural disasters at some point. There is ample evidence of extreme weather events in Australia, with many areas experiencing flooding, cyclones, severe storms, bushfires, and other natural disasters in the past few years (often during the same year).
New research released this month showed that extreme weather events over the past 12 months cost every Australian an average of $1,532.
Two reports were released, The Cost of Extreme Weather and the Insurance Council’s Second Insurance Catastrophe Resilience Report, both finding that in 2021–22, insurers paid $6.41 billion from more than 380,000 claims across multiple events, which was $3.9 billion more than the previous 12 months.
So, how can you protect your company and keep everyone safe?
Understand Your Risks
Make sure to check with your local council if you have any concerns about extreme weather in Perth or your region. These councils can provide emergency plans and check lists to help protect your business against extreme weather events. You will be able to identify the weather conditions that could threaten your business and make plans to minimise them.
Consider whether you need to alter how you store materials, vehicles, or flammable liquids to reduce the risk of a severe storm, flooding, or bushfire. What safety precautions can you take to minimise these risks for your business, your assets, and your employees?
Plan for Major Threats
Every business should have a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). This plan can be accessed by all employees and used immediately when you are alerted that an extreme weather condition is imminent in Perth or your area. Whatever happens, the plans will remain the same, but there are some things to consider in the event of severe storms or cyclones.
Place vehicles under cover and protect others with tarps. Close windows and secure exterior doors. Move essential stock indoors or undercover, make sure all loose items are secured, and turn off water, gas, and electricity.
Prepare as you would for a severe storm, but be ready to evacuate, ensuring that the evacuation routes are clear. Check for updates and do a head count before you leave the area. Plans are available from your state government, an example of a plan can also be found here.
Be prepared for cyclones. However, you should also be able to move heavy equipment, vehicles, and dangerous items to higher ground. When evacuating, make sure you know where the nearest safe access route is and what your safest high ground is.
Make a written plan and discuss it with your staff. Turn off the electricity and gas and hose down your building if time permits. Make sure you evacuate the area as instructed and take a head count. Plans are available from your state government, an example of a plan can also be found here.
Examine Your Insurance Coverage
As a last line of defence, each business should have an adequate level of insurance place. Quite often insurers exclude certain risk exposures, such as floods. It is therefore important to carefully examine each policy to confirm it meets your requirements.
Don’t Risk Being Underinsured
There are many aspects to underinsurance:
- Businesses don’t have any insurance, e.g., they own a building, but they do not have insurance.
- They do not take business interruption insurance, but they do insure the physical assets. This is very common. The client may see that their physical property can be damaged, but he doesn’t know the potential financial consequences.
- They buy an insurance policy, but the insured sum is insufficient. For example, if a business is insured for $500,000, but the actual cost of replacing the enterprise in the event of a disaster is $1 million, the business will still only receive $500,000. Not enough to get back on their feet.
How much Should You Invest?
Your insurance investment will be affected by:
- The potential of extreme weather risks
- The possible damage to your business
- Your choice between a lower excess that pays higher premiums and a higher excess that pays lower premiums Set aside funds for the extra payment if you select a higher excess.
How Trident Insurance Can Assist
Here at Trident Insurance, we can consult to your business in regards to your personal coverage requirements.
Catastrophic weather events can have a significant impact on a business, thankfully insurance can help minimise these losses.
Talk to an advisor today to find out which insurance policies would be best for your business.