The Bureau of Meteorology has now declared a third consecutive La Nina is officially underway for Australia.  

While this could bring another year of renewed flood risks and above-average rainfall for northern and eastern Australia, it could also result in insurance embargoes for property owners looking to get cover for flood damage.

Property owners are being urged to either review their current level of cover or take out protection well in advance of the predicted weather events this spring/summer to prevent claims from being impacted by embargoes and waiting periods. 

An embargo is when an insurer puts a freeze on the sale of new policies or prevents policyholders from making amendments to their existing cover if a natural disaster is already occurring or imminent. 

Some insurance providers imposed embargoes on their policies in early 2022 as parts of South-East Queensland experienced significant flooding and torrential rain. Those who already had cover before the floods were largely unaffected by the restrictions, but many property owners found themselves either underinsured or unable to take out new policies to protect their properties against the extreme weather event. 

For those that already have insurance, now is the time to check your policy PDS to understand exactly what is covered, how much you are covered for and what your excess amount is should you need to make a claim.

Generally speaking, all property and strata title insurance policies will include some cover for storms and damage caused by things like hail, winds, cyclones, and lightning. Flood cover, on the other hand, is often excluded and may be offered as an optional extra at an additional cost.

If you don’t currently have any insurance in place, don’t wait until the weather event is imminent or already happening, as this is usually too late to lock in cover. Depending on your property location, building type and claims history, your insurance broker can help you find a policy that offers the right protection for your circumstances and budget. 

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Get ahead of La Nina and contact your HK accountant to discuss getting the right cover in place to protect your property and assets with our insurance partner.