There are numerous steps that you can take to improve the resilience of your home or business to extreme weather events. It’s important to note that each home or business will have a unique risk profile which depends on a range of factors which could include:
- The floor height of the property
- The materials used to construct the property
- The property’s proximity to other dwellings or natural risks such as waterways or native bushland
- The property’s exposure to specific extreme weather events.
These factors need to be considered when determining the appropriateness and effectiveness of resilience measures and insurers may be able to assist with determining this. Examples of measures are outlined below.
Cyclones and storms
- Strengthening doors and windows with products such as storm shutters and debris screens
- Strengthening garage doors with wind locks that make it harder for doors to blow in
- Roof retrofitting to strengthen key tie-down points.
- Elevating the floor above defined flood levels
- Wet-proofing through the use of water-resilient materials such as polished concrete or tile floors
- Use of water-resistant wall framings and internal linings
- Use of non-combustible internal and external construction materials
- Designs that limit the ability of embers to enter the building, such as cavity-less construction and tight fitting cladding
- Siting building away from unmanaged vegetation.
Following the 2021-22 Queensland and NSW floods, both the Queensland and NSW State Governments established programs to support resilient retrofits and home raisings. More information on these programs is provided by the Queensland and NSW Governments.
How does mitigation affect insurance premiums?
Risk mitigation actions such as those listed above can be taken into account by insurers when setting your premium. Where retrofitting and other mitigation actions reduce risk, this can result in lower premiums.
In Australia, the competitive insurance market means that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach and individual insurers are able to take different approaches to setting their premiums for individual customers. Because insurers have different approaches to setting premiums, you may receive different product offers (premiums, excess or coverage) depending on your choice of insurer. This competitive market allows you to shop around to seek coverage that best suits your needs and preferences.
This principle also applies to the way individual mitigation actions such as those listed above can affect your premium. A number of insurers offer formal programs that recognise specific mitigation actions such as cyclone retrofits and floor raising. Other insurers may also offer similar discounts on an individual level.
Because insurers approach risk reduction measures and premium setting differently, it is important for you to speak to insurers directly about whether actions you take to reduce risk can result in a lower premium.
- If you are considering taking risk mitigation actions such as a resilient retrofit, you should speak to insurers directly about the effect this could have on your premium in order to help decide what is the best decision for your home or business.
- If you have already taken risk mitigation measures, speak to your current or other insurers if you do not believe these have been adequately taken into account when setting your premium.