The Risk of Under Insurance in Regional Settings

Whether it be bushfire, flood, earthquake, or anything in between; unfortunately for Australians, and more recently (closer to home) residents in Gippsland, the frequency and severity of natural disasters appear to be on the rapid rise with our ever-changing weather conditions.

Whilst it does not make for pleasant reading, it is so important for all Australians to protect their homes and be prepared, if in fact disaster does strike.

Just recently, residents in the Gippsland region of Victoria faced emergency flood warnings after a day of heavy rainfall. Meanwhile just days previously, communities were threatened by two large bushfires causing more evacuations and threatened homes.

The increased frequency and likelihood of natural disaster coupled with the well documented pressures on the Australian construction sector has created what could best be described as the ‘perfect storm’ when it comes to the matter of ‘under insurance’ – especially in regional settings.

Are you under insured?

Simply put, under insurance is when you don’t have enough insurance to cover the replacement value of the items you’re insuring. For most people who find themselves underinsured, it’s usually because they haven’t properly calculated the current replacement value of their property and belongings.

The factors at hand

The construction sector has seen exponential, unprecedented cost increases post the COVID-19 pandemic stemming from supply chain issues, material shortages, increased labour costs and a reduced labour pool because of significant ongoing government infrastructure projects nationwide.

These cost factors are further exacerbated when we apply the scenario to regional settings.

The remote nature of regional Australia results in a smaller labour force pool, increased travel costs and a greater risk of delay. In some cases, finding local trades isn’t an option and the need for outside help is required. This of course is possible – yet like all things, it comes at an increased cost.

What does this mean for regional homeowners?

Homeowners based in regional towns who don’t have an up-to-date insurance valuation, may face a disheartening and harsh reality if a disaster strikes. The “cost of replacement figure” needs to accurately reflect the current construction costs and market trends so that if homes are damaged or lost, owners are in the best position financially to rebuild.

It’s crucial for property owners across the country, but most importantly those in regional areas, to review their insurance policy and seek advice from a qualified Acumentis professional. By getting an up-to-date insurance valuation, you can protect yourselves and your most valued asset, in the event of the unthinkable occurring.

Patrick Monaghan
State Director - Regional Operations Victoria
— Gippsland Property Valuers
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