How to protect high net worth properties from La Niña weather events

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted the chance of a La Niña climate system developing at 70% - or three times the usual likelihood. As a result the northern and eastern parts of Australia are likely to experience above-average rainfall in the coming months.

Ten years ago, the last significant La Niña (2010-2011) resulted in Australia’s wettest two-year period on record and severe flooding in Brisbane.

As Hayley Blanchard, senior underwriter at high net worth (HNW) insurance provider Mansions of Australia explains, there are many tasks, homeowners can do to prepare for the perilous weather ahead.

Prepare early to avoid damage

Hayley says prevention is better than the inconvenience of weather-related damage and there are several tasks owners of prestige properties can do to protect against storm damage.

“Before storm season it’s a good idea to get an arborist in to check trees and trim any branches that may be threatening to fall, which will help protect against damage to the roof or to fences,” Hayley recommends.

Gutters should be checked and cleared, and leaf guards installed to prevent build up of debris.

Hayley recommends obtaining a qualified tradesperson to inspect roofs for cracked or damaged tiles, which are a common source of leaks, in addition to inspecting door and window seals.

Hayley recommends policyholders be aware of staining to ceilings.

“That’s usually a sign there’s water getting in, so if you are aware of any staining, get a qualified tradesperson to see if they can determine the cause. It could be an internal source such as a leaking pipe or water coming in externally through a cracked roof tile or a clogged gutter.”

Hayley recommends all drains should be cleared of debris, including drains located on balconies. If a storm is forecast, securing outdoor furniture and items around the property may prevent them from causing damage in high winds.

“Some of these tasks are particularly important for heritage properties but even modern properties come with risks,” she explains.

“For example, modern properties often have balconies that overhang internal parts of the property below. When those balconies are built, a waterproof membrane is installed but the membranes disintegrate over time and often the policyholder is not aware of this. Staining on the ceiling below can be a sign that water has entered the ceiling or walls.”

Flood mitigation measures

For policyholders with properties on or near waterways, the risk of flood is also ever-present.

Flooding often comes with advance warning and Hayley says there are tasks properties owners can do to mitigate their risk.

“Sandbagging, moving valuables to upper levels or offsite and sourcing a backup power supply such as a generator are all loss prevention measures that can be taken,” she says.

“But of course, the most important thing is to ensure that the family is physically safe.”

Executive insurance provides peace of mind

In the event that a property is damaged by a weather event, all Mansions of Australia property policies cover wind and water damage from storms, and those incepted from October 5, 2021 (when QBE took over as capacity provider for the business) also include flood cover as standard.

Policies incepted from October 5, include cover for mitigation costs, to assist homeowners in the event of the imminent threat of damage from an emergency situation such as a storm, flood or bushfire.

“Mansions will cover the cost of moving items, such as a fine art collection, into a storage facility. Mansions also cover measures to prevent further damage. For example, if part of your roof has blown off, Mansions will cover the costs of arranging to have a tarp fitted to prevent damage to your contents,” Ms Blanchard explains.

For more information

Mansions protects the assets, lifestyles and the financial wellbeing of successful and responsible individuals and families, so they can pursue their passions with confidence. For more information about our unique products and service, visit our website, call us on 1300 738 308 or email us at mansions@mansions.com.au.