The recent heavy rain, hail storms and strong winds have wreaked havoc across the NSW east coast and South East Queensland.

The weather event in NSW was declared a Catastrophe by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and the industry has recorded in excess of 19,500 claims in NSW alone with losses exceeding $130 million dollars and expected to climb further as more claims are lodged.

In addition the hail storm that struck Western Sydney on Anzac Day caused significant damage to property with many warehouses collapsing under what was estimated to be up to one metre of hail resting on roofs.

Many businesses still believe “it will never happen to me”. However, this is a timely reminder for us all to review the adequacy of Insurance coverage. Particular attention needs to be paid to Building, Contents and Stock Sums Insured and also what, if any Business Interruption Insurance is held.

As an example, one of our clients suffered significant water damage to Stock at their Huntingwood warehouse. This required the removal of all undamaged stock to other locations until such time as the roof can be repaired. The scope of works involves removing all roof sheets and replacing the water damage sarking and then replacing the roof sheets. This cost alone is estimated at $250,000 and will cause a disruption to the business and incur additional costs.

At the very least, if a business does not hold coverage for loss of income they should ensure a substantial policy limit for Additional Increased Cost of Working (AICOW). An example of how this can assist in the above claim would be the additional costs incurred by our client in having to remove stock to a third party location to store and also freight costs in moving stock to their QLD warehouse. Furthermore, should they wish for contractors to work on the roof on a weekend this would incur penalty rates which would also form part of the cover provided under AICOW.

At AEI we are committed to protecting our clients and providing assistance when it is needed the most – when suffering a significant loss. We work with clients, assessors and Insurers to achieve a satisfactory result and get businesses back up and running.

Contact us today for an insurance review to be sure you are covered for the impact of unpredictable weather coming our way this season. You run your business – trust us to protect it.