Australians still unprepared for severe weather, natural disasters

Australia has been experiencing frequent and more severe weather events over the years. However, many homeowners are still unprepared for these events, despite one in four experiencing severe weather-related home or property damage.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) estimates that 23 percent of Australian households do not have building or contents insurance, meaning that approximately 1.8 million residential households are not protected. While some may underinsure their property on purpose, usually in the belief that ‘it’ll never happen to me’, for many others the shortfall is unintentional.  Other factors include failing to take into account increased building costs and not adjusting Sum Insured value following major renovations. Sometimes underinsurance results from people choosing a lower Sum Insured value to reduce their insurance premium. 

With thousands of homes damaged or destroyed by extreme weather and natural disasters each year, it’s significant for Australians to take measures to protect themselves and their most important asset.

DSH Insurance advises to:

  • think about the types of events that could affect you and the likelihood of these occurring and then plan and act accordingly;
  • review your building policy to ensure your Sum Insured is correct and covers rebuild costs, increasing construction costs and building standards;
  • discuss with family, friends, and develop a contingency plan in case they are affected and unable to get timely assistance;
  • put a home maintenance schedule in place and get a home health check from qualified tradespeople and specialists; and
  • make an emergency plan and prepare a survival kit.

To assist you, DSH Insurance has developed a Natural Disasters – Homeowners Information Pack which includes a Household Evacuation kit (PDF 225  KB), information on different types of natural disasters, and useful links (PDF 170 KB) for emergency situations.