Tropical Cyclone Jasper prompts northern QLD home insurance alert

Dec 6

As developing Tropical Cyclone Jasper continues to hover off the coast of Australia, northern Queensland Household Insurance specialist, Sure Insurance, has urged regional householders to prepare for potential severe weather.  

Sure Insurance Managing Director, Bradley Heath, said although there is uncertainty about the direction of TC Jasper and where it may cross the coast, it’s expected that it will intensify into either a category 3 or 4 cyclone, and likely bring high winds, heavy rain, and potential flooding.  

“Householders should ensure they have adequate levels of home and contents insurance in place as some insurers may place embargoes on new home insurance policies, not amend existing policies when a cyclone is forming or might be close to crossing the coast, or when the cyclone is officially named,” said Mr Heath.  

“Without current home insurance or adequate insurance cover (sum insured), householders face the prospect of considerable losses in the event of cyclone or storm damage to their homes.” 

“High winds produced by cyclones can cause extensive property damage, while heavy rains and flooding can cause further damage, so householders need to be prepared.” 

“Simple precautions around the home do not have to cost a lot or take much time, but certainly have the potential to save money and heartbreak,” said Mr Heath. 

“With cyclone season now upon us and TC Cyclone Jasper off the coast, it’s wise to trim overhanging branches both to prevent them falling onto roofs and to stop fallen leaves from clogging gutters.” 

“During heavy rain, water can overflow from clogged gutters and enter homes causing extensive damage, even if the roof holds firm.” 

“It’s important for householders to take the time to clean up around their home and consider introducing home mitigation and resilience measures. This may help avoid the need for a larger and more costly clean up later,” said Mr Heath.

Sure Insurance cyclone safety & household preparedness tips:

What you can do now – prepare your home 

Emergency kit: 

Put together an emergency kit containing three-days supply of bottled water, non-perishable food items, dried or canned food and a can opener, including pet food and water for animals, mobile phone charger and additional batteries, first aid kit, essential medications (at least two weeks supply), toiletries and toilet paper, waterproof clothing, list of emergency contact numbers, some cash and any special items for infants and elderly or people with special needs. 

Evacuation kit: 

In case you need to leave, prepare an evacuation kit in waterproof sealing with your emergency kit – in it have multiple changes of clothes, pillows and sleeping bags, important documents, valuables, keepsakes and important things you would hate to lose, laptop computers and back-ups of important flies and inventory of household goods.

Household preparedness: 

Remove or secure loose items around the garden, which could become projectiles during high winds. 

Keep a battery operated torch and radio handy in case of loss of electricity. Use the radio for power restoration updates, evacuation notices and information from emergency services. 

Identify a shelter room in your house.  

With safety always in mind, check gutters and downpipes to ensure water can drain away freely. Backed up gutters can send water flowing into your home during heavy rains. 

Check the roof for damaged or loose tiles and any raised roof sheets. Repair any loose tiles, eaves and screws and seal all identified leaks. A roof in good repair is more likely to withstand high winds and to keep out water. 

Trim trees and overhanging tree branches.  

Fit windows with shutters or metal screens. 

In case of a storm surge or other flooding: 

Know your nearest safe high ground and safest access to it. 

Identify which items you need to raise or empty if flooding threatens your home.

Consider alternatives to carpet floor coverings. 

Consider relocating electrical sockets and power points well above floor level. 

Home and contents insurance: 

Check you have current home and contents insurance. 

Check your home and contents insurance sums insured to ensure you have adequate levels of cover in place to rebuild your entire home and replace its contents in case of a total loss at current costs.  

Ask your insurer if you have any questions. 

What to do after the cyclone: 

Don’t go outside until officially advised it is safe. 

Continue to listen to your local radio for further information on the event and further warnings and safety messages. 

Check for gas leaks and don’t use electric appliances that have been wet. 

If you have evacuated, or did so earlier, don’t return until advised. Use a recommended route and don’t rush. Beware of damaged power lines, bridges, buildings, trees, and don’t enter floodwaters. 

Heed all warnings and don’t go sightseeing. 

Take photos of any items which could become a health hazard and, if possible, take a piece of the item before you throw them out, keep your home well ventilated to help it dry, but do not leave your home open while unattended. 

Contact your insurance company to lodge a claim and report damage

Further information contact Mike Sopinski on 0421 052 598.