Are you ready for Storm Season?
We are committed to providing our clients with helpful information to mitigate possible risks. With storm season already in full swing and the country experiencing an increased level of rainfall due to the La Niña phenomenon we felt it was important to give you some practical information and solutions to help keep you ready for the 2021 storm season.
Internal water damage in Australian homes is now a very common property damage-related claim and is costlier than all other risks including fire and burglary. According to Chubb's water damage insight report, the average water damage claim has increased by 72% in the last 5 years.
Water damage not only causes expensive damage to floors, carpets, furniture and ceilings, and often resulting in having to vacate properties for extended periods while repair work takes place. This can lead to large and unexpected increases in expenses, which may or may not be claimable depending on the specific insurance policy in force.
The main causes of water damage claims as described in the Chubb Water Damage Insight Report are depicted in the infographic below.
In order to mitigate risks to your property during storm season, you can follow these steps:
1. Regularly trim your trees We all know storms bring rain, thunder and lightning, but the accompanying strong winds are often overlooked. These winds can cause enormous damage to property, especially if the property is surrounded by loose branches or unstable trees. Loose or fallen limbs are a potential hazard to your or your neighbour’s property, as well as a threat to your safety.
2. Keep your gutters clear Regularly clear leaves and debris from your gutters and downpipes. They can quickly become blocked in torrential rain, and the water will follow the path of least resistance – usually, back into your roof or down your walls. This can lead to costly repairs and even foundational damage, and if you are an investment property owner, this means potential loss of rent while repairs are carried out.
3. Ensure water can flow away from your home The grade of your lot should keep water flowing away from your home and into a ditch, drain, or other proper retention area. So make sure you keep any drains unblocked so that the excess water has somewhere to go (preferably not into your home).
4. Replace missing or damaged roof tiles Similarly, keep up to date with roofing repairs. Cracked tiles or worn sealant will not withstand a heavy downpour.
5. Window and door seals Repair any broken sealant around window sills and doors to ensure these are water tight
6. Secure outdoor items Identify loose items that would need to be secured that could cause damage if blown around in high winds.
It is really important that your coverage is correct in the event of a claim, in addition to this your sums insured need to be accurate so as not to run the risk of having the payout of your claim significantly reduced due to underinsurance. If you would like to discuss any element of your policy with us please do not hesitate to contact us.
Resources we used for this post
- Queensland Government - Get Ready Queensland
Chubb Insurance Company - The Leading Causes of Water Damage
Chubb Insurance Company - Water Damage Insight Report
44 Home - Tips for protecting your property