In a country that frequently experiences bushfires, tropical cyclones and other natural disasters, hail is perhaps not considered the most threatening weather event.

However, hail is one of the most significant loss-causing weather events, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA). Hailstorms are capable of causing significant damage to property, vehicles and business and can, in some extreme cases, result in injury or even death.

The power of this weather event was left unquestioned in April 1999, after a severe hailstorm hit Sydney’s inner and eastern suburbs in the evening of April 14.

Cricket ball-sized hailstones thrashed the city, causing more than $1.5 billion in damage to homes and cars in the area. If the same event was to occur today, ICA believes the bill would climb to $3.3 billion.

The New South Wales Fire Brigade was inundated with distressed calls fro help from residents, who reported roofs destroyed, significant flooding, collapsed ceilings and electrical fires caused by the storm. Within the first five hours, the Sydney Communication Centre took 2,000 emergency calls related to 1,092 different incidents.

This storm is an ideal warning for current business owners to ensure they are properly prepared for hail and other extreme weather events – including making sure your business insurance policy covers damage from hailstones and storms.

Additionally, business owners are encouraged to put sufficient measures in place to protect their property before a hailstorm strikes. This is why the ICA has put together a simple checklist to help property owners prepare.

The checklist involves understanding your area’s risk of hail by researching the history of these events across the state, choosing the right roofing material to resist hail damage and ensuring roofs are installed correctly and well maintained.

If your area has a history of hail storms, contact MGA Insurance Brokers to organise a business insurance policy that will effectively protect your organisation from hail damage.