It won’t be news to any Australian that nature is a constant burden on property. If UV radiation isn’t deteriorating outside property, or the sun’s heat causing destructive bushfires, then wild wind and torrential storms are battering our coastal regions.
Sure, Australia is a great place to live and the envy of many, but it can be a nightmare to do business in – at least if the right precautions aren’t taken to mitigate against our significant environmental risks.
To highlight this point, the months of April and May proved to be expensive in terms of insurance claims, as natural disasters caused a bill of more than $1.55 billion.
Businesses and homeowners combined lodged more than 160,000 claims on their respective insurance policies following fierce storms on the east coast and bushfires in South Australia, according to new statistics from the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).
Insurance standing up in New South Wales
Business insurance policies in New South Wales were called upon in great numbers as property damage soared from recent storms. For several days in April, the regions of Central Coast, Hunter, Greater Sydney Metropolitan and Illawarra in particular felt the full force of nature, leading to $172.1 million in commercial insurance claims. On top of this, there were $629.6 million in domestic claims.
Meanwhile, insurance companies paid out $302.4 million in 14,239 business insurance claims following the hailstorm that struck Sydney on Anzac Day, with industrial properties fairing the worst, the report continued.
And finally, the storms that hit the south-east coast of Queensland and the northern parts of NSW between 30 April and 4 May led to 27,825 claims and $360.2 million in losses for property owners.
What’s more, all these figures are still ticking upwards, as the losses continue to be tallied following the ICA’s 2 June publication.
Fighting fires in South Australia
The extent of damage from a natural disaster was not limited to the east coast. South Australia is often affected by bushfires, which can be particularly destructive to both life and property.
Since January 2015, bushfires in the Festival State have resulted in 996 claims and $36.6 million in losses. Around a third of this ($12 million) has been in commercial losses over the same six-month period.
While bushfires are not as widely destructive as storms, they do throw up a challenge for particular businesses. Such disasters are a prime example of the importance of a tailor-made business insurance policy.
As a company owner of any size – from self employed to multinational – there are specific risks to your business, property, premises, employees, customers and reputation. Whether it’s business interruption insurance or property damage cover, a good policy will mitigate your greatest risks – natural or otherwise.
To discuss covering your specific needs, contact your local MGA office today.