As the year draws to a close, storm season is just beginning, with wild weather already impacting parts of the country. Here are five things you need to advise your clients to do to prepare their investment properties.
Storm cells can be highly unpredictable, and can result in flash flooding, strong winds and lightning strikes. Such wild weather can cause major damage to investment properties and it’s important to be prepared.
The first thing to do is to check that the insurance policy is up-to-date and it adequately covers the cost of any potential damage.
People often assume that their investment properties are insured against storm damage. However, it’s important to read the fine print of the policy. When it comes to insuring properties against storm damage, it is important to consider individual circumstances to determine the level of insurance needed.
If an investment property is governed by a body corporate, it’s likely that strata insurance is bundled along with building insurance as a portion of the body corporate fees.
Strata insurance generally covers the structure and common areas of your apartment building. However, strata insurance does not cover personal belongings that are inside a unit, so it is vital to look into contents insurance.
If landlords are unsure whether their insurance policy is up-to-date or what it covers, make sure they contact their insurer before storm season hits.
Some top tips for being prepared for storm season:
- Check insurance policies are up-to-date and include cover for storm damage;
- Notify the body corporate of any tree branches that may cause damage in the event of a storm;
- Update the body corporate about a property’s damage and any damage you notice in common areas of the building;
- Secure the property – ensure that items like outdoor furniture and pots on the balcony are secured to stop them from blowing away; and
- Visit your local council website for more information on how to be ready for storm season.
Syna is an account executive with Marsh Advantage Insurance and has been involved in the property management and insurance industry since 2009. She is an expert on all things related to strata insurance in Queensland.