Queensland is no stranger to damaging storms, heavy rain, and cyclones, especially in summer.
While we live in the Sunshine State, we know it's not always blue skies. Sometimes nature takes its course and rain and storms impact our lives, so we’ve put together some helpful tips on how to prepare for storms and cyclones in Queensland.
How to storm-proof your home
You can better protect your home from the damage Queensland’s storms can create. Storm-proof your home at any time of the year by:
- ensuring trees in your yard are cut back with dead branches moved away from your house
- maintaining your roof by keeping your gutters clear, securing loose tiles, and fixing sealing leaks
- installing shutters or metal screens if you are in a cyclone-prone area to help prevent windows breaking
- preparing your emergency plan.
Safety preparations before a storm
Before a storm approaches you should always make sure you:
- tie down or store away any outdoor furniture
- move vehicles undercover and secure boats in a safe anchorage
- tape your windows in an X pattern with strong packing tape to reduce the chances of windows breaking during high winds
- bring your pets and unsecured items inside your home
- unplug all appliances, and turn off your electricity, gas and water (in a cyclone).
If you are evacuating, lock all doors and windows securely, and make sure you get an emergency kit to be ready for storms and emergencies.
Safety preparations during a storm
During a storm, if outside you should find a safe place to shelter yourself from the storm.
When at home during a storm, stay in a stairwell or small room (like a bathroom or basement).
If you’re driving, make sure you stop somewhere away from power lines and trees.
Contact the SES on 132 500 if you require assistance.
Hail damage to cars
During dangerous storms, large hail can cause irreparable damage to cars. Learn how to defend your car from hail and storms with our online tips.
Tune in to updates (radio/TV)
Listen to your local radio station and watch TV for warnings and fire updates. This information can help you work out if the fire has passed or if you need to evacuate.
Check the Queensland Government disaster and alerts website.
If you experience damage to an item or object, we recommend taking photographs of the damage. Photographs are often the most valuable tool for us when processing a claim.
Are you storm prepared?
While we live in the Sunshine State, us Queenslanders know it's not always blue skies. From cyclones, floods and summer storms, we've experienced our fair share of natural disasters. Alarmingly, RACQ statistics show half of all Queensland homeowners have done nothing to prepare for the upcoming storm season. So, are you and your family prepared for when disaster strikes next? Take a look at the first RACQ TV episode about being storm prepared. It has a checklist of simple things to do around your home to make sure you're ready for that next storm.
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Your insurance questions answered
What is insurance and why is it important?
Insurance is about protecting yourself from the unexpected. When you have belongings and property that are of value, you want to know that you are covered if they were damaged or lost. In Queensland, we are all too familiar with unpredictable weather and the impacts of cyclones, floods, storms and bushfires. But insurance also protects you against things like theft, damage and legal liability.
When you pay your insurance premium, it goes into a pool of money with everyone else’s premium. When people claim on their policy, that money comes out of the pool. In the event of a catastrophe e.g. large scale flooding or a cyclone, this pool of money goes to helping a lot of people recover.
What is the Emergency Services Levy (ESL)?
The Emergency Services Levy (ESL) is an emergency services insurance contribution scheme that funds the fire and rescue emergency services in New South Wales (NSW). Insurance companies are required to contribute to the budget for these services in NSW each financial year. Insurers may reclaim this amount from their policyholders by charging an ESL in their insurance policy premium.
The Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor (ESL Monitor) published an Order requiring insurance companies, and those acting on their behalf, to provide a breakdown of the ESL component of the premium, as well as year on year premium comparisons. These disclosure requirements are being enforced by the ESL Insurance Monitor.
Will this increase insurance premiums?
There is no direct change to policy premiums because of the ESL. However, you may see an impact in the ESL contribution compared to last year.
Affected insurance products
These are the different policy types that are impacted by these changes:
- Motor Vehicle
- Body Corporate
- Unique vehicle
- Enthusiast Car & Motorcycle
After more information? Check out www.eslinsurancemonitor.nsw.gov.au/frequently-asked-questions.
What is reinsurance?
Insurance companies need insurance as well - this is reinsurance. In the event of a major catastrophe, sometimes the amount of money we pay to help customers recover from loss or damage takes a large portion out of our reserves. By insuring a percentage of those reserves, we make sure that we can recover some of the money we pay out to customers. That way we can continue to offer you a competitive premium.
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