13th January, 2015

Wild start to 2015 weather highlights need for business insurance

Extreme weather events pose a constant threat to any business that relies on physical premises. In a country as geographically diverse as Australia, unpredictable weather patterns make this even more of a challenge.

Significant changes in weather often greet the new year in this country, and 2015 doesn't appear to be any different. With the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) reporting a number of key developments within the first few days of the year, companies around the country are reminded of the importance of securing comprehensive business insurance cover.

Heatwaves and wind: A dangerous mix

Bushfires are unfortunately an all too common occurrence in Australia, especially at this time of year. Conditions at the start of 2015 looked just as relentless, with the BOM forecasting temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees Celsius in the south of the country.

In addition to the heatwave, strong winds are contributing to the fire threat and are making conditions difficult for fire fighters, the BOM reports. 

"The worst conditions are concentrated in South Australia and Victoria. This build-up of heat, combined with gusty winds associated with several wind changes, will present very challenging conditions for fire fighters for any fires that may break out," said the BOM's Assistant Director for Hazard Prediction, Alasdair Hainsworth.

"Fire danger ratings are in the Severe to Extreme range across several states, with some areas of Catastrophic in South Australia."

The news coincides with findings from the bureau's Annual Climate Statement 2014, which confirmed that last year was Australia's third-warmest on record – thanks to six significant heatwaves and warm spells spread across the year.

Perth, of course, is one of the areas in Australia most at risk of bushfires. According to the Insurance Council of Australia, the Perth bushfires in January last year cost a total of $15 million.

Bushfires aren't the only threat that severe heat can bring to businesses, though. Several news outlets reported on January 6 that the intense temperatures in Western Australia effectively disabled a crucial data centre in the state capital, leaving thousands of consumers without access to internet.

With the internet a key resource for any company, such occurrences can amount to lost business.

Why investing in business insurance makes sense

Especially in a state such as Western Australia where bushfires and heat-related threats are common, businesses of all shape and size would do well to secure a suitable business insurance policy.

Such policies cover a huge scope of aspects of your organisation, from liability to reimbursement for natural disaster-related events, ensuring your business can stand the heat and continue operating.

Author: Murray Bruce