As Australians, we are all too familiar with extreme weather, from heatwaves and bushfires one month to cyclones and flooding the next. According to Insurance News, the cost of natural disasters in Australia reached $35 billion in 2019 and is continually increasing each year. Research from the Australian Business Roundtable predicted that the total economic cost of natural disasters in Australia would reach $39 billion each year by 2050.
In Australia, flooding has caused millions of dollars of damage to properties, livestock and has even taken lives. Events such as Queensland’s 2011 flood and, more recently, New South Wales’ 2021 flood will send shivers down the spines of those who had to deal with the aftermath. Imagine as floodwater slowly rose, many property owners watched helplessly as their homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.
Living with these extreme natural disasters requires proactive preventative measures to keep you, your loved ones and your assets safe. Here are some tips on how you can minimise the damage to your home or business in the event of a flood.
Seal up any foundation cracks
Foundation cracks leave your property vulnerable to water seeping through and weakening the structure of your property. Innocent weather events such as light rain can slowly erode the foundation of your property and become a significant safety hazard for you and those who engage with your business or reside in your home. Not only is this a safety hazard, having a weak foundation means your property is more prone to succumb to irreparable damage. Sealing foundation cracks will give your property the best chance to withstand rising water.
You may know your business like it is the back of your hand, but when it comes to selecting an appropriate insurance cover, you may overlook essential details, especially if you have complex risks. The Deloitte research report (2020) identifies that 62% of brokers’ clients had limited knowledge about their risks, and 90% of brokers said that their client previously had an inappropriate level of insurance cover for their level of risk.
When you don’t have a comprehensive understanding of your business risks, you are more susceptible to selecting an ill-fitting insurance cover. This is not ideal, especially when you may face significant financial losses without being aware of how they could occur. Without knowing what risks are in your business, it’s very difficult to know how to cover them.
At East West Insurance Brokers, we use our custom AI technology paired with our brokers’ industry expertise to determine your risk profile and provide you with a comprehensive risk report. This risk report will allow you to make informed decisions when selecting your insurance cover and provide you with better knowledge of your risks so you can implement preventative measures to avoid costly claims. Having this support and information at your fingertips means you’re set and ready to manage your assets with confidence.
Check the door sealants
In many cases, floodwater will firstly seep into your property via the entranceways, so it’s essential to make sure that the sealant of your doorways are in tip-top condition. For high floodwater, this may not keep the water out completely. However, suppose the floodwater level is low; this simple method can help keep most of the water from entering your property and potentially save you from a hefty repair cost.
Keep a submersible pump handy
In Australia, we have garden hoses that can put out a small fire, so why not have a tool that can aid you in the event of rising water? A battery-powered submersible pump might be a worthwhile investment. Suppose your property is inundated and water has accessed lower levels of your property such as a basement or carpark. In that case, a submersible pump will help keep the level of water at bay and buy you time to move your valuable assets to higher ground if possible.
Waterproof your valuable assets
There is no easy way to determine how high the flood water will reach. Therefore, waterproofing your valuable assets is a smart move. A method such as mounting your electrical appliances off the floor is possible and will give it a chance to survive the rising water. For items such as important documents, like your birth certificate, should be placed in plastic casing or plastic boxes and stored above ground level. This simple method can save you time and money of having to recover the destroyed documents.
Is your home and business at risk?
Before you start thinking about all the preventative measures mentioned above, you’re probably wondering, “is my house or business premise in a flood zone?”
At East West Insurance Brokers, we are a part of Steadfast; a trusted insurance broker network that allows us to utilise and provide you, our clients, with valuable tools to understand your flood risks better.
Steadfast recently launched their “Steadfast Flood Risk Tracker“, which uses your home or business address to assess how prone your property is to flooding. You can use this tool to understand your flood risk and prioritise implementing the tips mentioned above to protect you and your assets. Having this information at your fingertips will also allow you to make smart decisions when purchasing your next property.
Click here to try out the Steadfast Flood Risk Tracker.
If you need further help assessing your flood risk, give East West Insurance Brokers a call using the contact details below.
1800 809 132
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Important Note: All insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording to decide whether an insurance policy meets your needs.