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Disasters, insurance and your property

John Stanley

In the wake of the tragic events on the South Coast of NSW this week, alongside feelings of empathy and compassion for those affected, other “there but by the grace of God go I” type thoughts are only natural- and with them, perhaps some real questions about what would happen to with an investment property of your own in a similar situation.

These questions were the topic of discussion as Carolyn Parrella joined Steve.

Are you covered?

In the majority of cases, if you have a building insurance policy, your property is covered in the event of a natural disaster. Still, it’s always a good idea to make sure your insurance is up to date, even if it’s just for your continued peace of mind.

However, perhaps the more important issue to consider when casting our minds to natural disasters isn’t insurance, but rather maintenance.

Prevention through maintenance- whose responsibility is it?

We know that simple acts of property maintenance can make a huge difference when it comes to property damage in the event of a natural disaster. Take bushfires for instance- if you’re in a bushfire prone area, the cleaning of gutters and trimming of scrub and undergrowth is vital in minimising risk.

But in the case of investment properties, whose responsibility is it to conduct this maintenance?

Ideally it’s shared. By default it falls to the property owner, but the responsibility of certain maintenance duties can be included as part of a tenancy agreement.

What about liability?

Far more important than property is the threat natural disasters pose to the individuals in their path- and although very much a secondary concern, it’s unlikely a property owner could be found liable for any injury resulting from natural disasters.

For more information, listen to Carolyn’s full chat to Steve in the player above.

John Stanley