As of 5th April 2017, approximately 30,000 claims had been lodged due to the effects of Cyclone Debbie in Queensland. There is an estimated value of $386million with this number set to increase significantly as people start to return to their homes to assess the damage. Whilst the people in the Whitsundays area including Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Bowen, Proserpine and Mackay start to count the cost from Cyclone Debbie, the people of South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales are facing potentially the worst flooding in 100 years. When natural disasters such as these occur, it’s more important than ever for insurance companies and advisors to be there for their clients.
What is a Cyclone?
Cyclones are low pressure systems that form over warm tropical waters and have gale force winds near the centre. Cyclones typically occur in the Queensland region between November and April, with 207 know occurrences along the east coast since 1858.
Insurance Relating to Cyclones
Unfortunately, events of this magnitude tend to catch people off guard in terms of their insurance cover, as many people are not aware of things such as additional excesses like a named Cyclone Excess. A Cyclone Excess is often referred to as an Imposed or Special Excess where by the insurer deems the risk to have a high exposure to cyclones. Areas such as North Queensland, Northern Territory and Northern Western Australia are particularly susceptible to cyclones and insurance policies written in these areas will more than likely have these excesses imposed.
Events such as this will really show the value of an insurance broker. Brokers can assist in lodging the claims, managing the communication between the insured and the insurer and or assessors, while also assisting you to understand the features and benefits of the policy you have in place.
In the event you need to lodge a claim following a cyclone, a couple of points to keep in mind include:
• Lodge the claim with your insurer or broker as soon as possible
• Undertake repairs in order to “make safe” the damaged property to prevent further damage or loss occurring. Some insurers may allow a certain level of repairs to be undertaken without approval following natural disaster events
• Keep receipts and invoices of work completed and get photos if possible to provide to the insurer when required
• Be as patient as possible, particularly following an event such as a cyclone
If you’ve been affected by a natural disaster, contact your insurance broker or provider. They can provide you with the steps you need to take and explain terms within your insurance policy. Not sure if you’ve got the right level of cover? Contact Carbon’s team of insurance brokers on 9446 8588 to discuss your options when it comes to home and contents insurance.