Sydney's violent hailstorm, which has left millions of dollars of damage in its wake, is a crucial reminder of how important it is to protect yourself against potentially crippling damage to your business.

The incident, declared a 'catastrophe’ by the Insurance Council of Australia, led to more than 15,000 claims in the 18 hours after it swept across Sydney and parts of the Central Coast on the evening of Thursday December 20. It is anticipated the damage bill could reach more than $100 million.

Car dealerships, also severely hit in Sydney’s 1999 hailstorm, could submit claims to the tune of around $50 million, illustrating the extent to which small businesses can be exposed to risk and damage during extreme weather events.

“In big events like these, the resources might not be available to immediately secure a damaged roof. But it is important that it is attended to in reasonable time, and that it isn’t left for months. Because if it is, that could affect your claim”

Which is why it is vital to be proactive in mitigating your business’ loss in such situations, in order to meet your insurance obligations and return to business as usual as soon as possible.

Steadfast’s Broker Technical Manager Michael White explains that businesses seeking to claim, need to move to mitigate loss after such an event as soon as possible and as comprehensively as possible.

That includes recording the extent of the damage, the extent of business losses caused by the event and detailing how you have secured your business’ property against further damage.

“Generally you are obliged to mitigate your loss in situations like this and protect against further damage,” Mr White explains.

“In big events like these, the resources might not be available to immediately secure a damaged roof. But it is important that it is attended to in reasonable time, and that it isn’t left for months. Because if it is, that could affect your claim.”

Property should be secured to protect it against further damage and goods or property that could be affected further should be put inside or under cover wherever possible.

This also helps to protect against a loss adjustment, where the claim monies awarded could be reduced because the loss has not been adequately mitigated against.

Acting ahead of time

Business should also be mitigating against loss before extreme weather events hit and as part of their ongoing procedures.

That includes ensuring all property is well maintained and kept in a reasonable state of repair.

“It’s all about risk management,” Mr White says.

“Maintenance is the key issue, I have seen people neglect it so many times.”

Which, again, could affect your insurance claim.

Of course it is always vital you have the right insurance for your business, including Business Interruption Insurance

That's why it's important to seek advice from a professional insurance broker who offer advice on a daily basis.

So for expert advice on the best insurance solutions for your business, talk to your Steadfast broker.

Important disclaimer - Steadfast Group Limited ABN 98 073 659 677, its subsidiaries and its associates.

The views expressed are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of Steadfast.

This magazine provides information rather than financial product or other advice. The content of this magazine, including any information contained on it, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the information, taking these matters into account, before you act on any information. In particular, you should review the product disclosure statement for any product that the information relates to it before acquiring the product.  

Information is current as at the date articles are written as specified within them but is subject to change. Steadfast, its subsidiaries and its associates make no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Various third parties, including Know Risk, have contributed to the production of this content. All information is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of Steadfast Group Limited.