To assist you in taking action before it’s too late, DSH Insurance has put together some practical tips to safeguard your family and your home. This will help maximise your chances of getting back to normal following a bushfire or extreme weather event.
Ensure your family’s safety
First, sit down and discuss your options as a family. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes so it’s important to discuss the most common types of disasters in your area and identify what you and your family will do in each case.
For instance, if you live in an area prone to bushfires or storms, create an emergency action plan for the safety of your family and any pets. This might include identifying a meeting point in case family members are separated. Also check your emergency kit is fully stocked and stored in a place which is easy to access, and make sure all family members have emergency phone numbers stored in their mobile phones, are familiar with local emergency service websites, and have downloaded ‘Fire or Storm Near me’ apps to monitor situations as they arise.
To assist you, DSH Insurance has developed a Natural Disasters — Homeowners Information Pack, which includes a Household Evacuation kit, information on different types of natural disasters, and useful links for emergency situations. This material is available on the DSHI website.
Protect your home
A range of general maintenance tasks can be carried out to reduce the risk of potential damage from events like floods, cyclones or fires. These include:
- testing smoke detectors, alarms and fire extinguishers
- cutting back trees and shrubs
- cleaning up leaves and twigs around the property
- removing and storing flammable items (including wood piles) well away from your house
- cleaning gutters and downpipes
- checking you have hoses and that they are long enough to reach around your house
- inspecting your roofs for missing, loose or damaged tiles and leaks, and
- checking the condition of external walls and cladding and sealing any gaps.
Any repairs or renovations done in and around your home should only be performed by qualified tradespeople to ensure work is undertaken properly and, where applicable, to the required standards.
Lack of maintenance and work undertaken by non-qualified tradespeople may not only contribute to more damage to your home but can also result in a reduced claim payout or even rejection of your claim. It’s essential to understand that each claim on a home building insurance policy is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and a claim may be refused if you have failed to take reasonable care to protect and maintain your home and property.
Check your Insurance
It’s easy to think you have insurance but most of us don’t undertake regular reviews. Check to make sure your home building insurance and any other insurances are up to date, whether you’re adequately covered, and whether you need to include any extra cover. It’s also important to read your policy documents and relevant product disclosure statements so you are aware of exactly what you are covered for.
DSH Insurance offers competitive premiums on comprehensive home building insurance tailored specifically for Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and veterans who have even one day of service (including reservists and widow(er)s of those ADF members). Benefits include cover for flood and accidental damage, no excess (other than for earthquake damage and some accidental damage) and flexible payment options. This provides peace of mind for policyholders, including deployed ADF members and their families.
DSH Insurance insures anywhere in Australia and can provide access to other insurance products including contents, landlord and car insurance. These complementary insurance products are underwritten by QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited and no eligibility requirements apply.
Find out more by visiting beta.dsh.gov.au or call 1300 552 662.
Our 100-year legacy, strengthened by our core values of honesty, trust, care and commitment always safeguards your interests.