Homes in the danger zone

INURANCE WARNING: The region's location put properties at risk of flood and fire damage.
INURANCE WARNING: The region's location put properties at risk of flood and fire damage. Lisa Hemmings / Warwick Daily Ne

WARWICK residents have been urged to check their homes weren't under-insured as factors specific to the region put properties at high risk of fire and flood damage, a major insurer has warned.

This week's Cyclone Debbie, which has caused billions of damage to North Queensland, is a warning to home owners to check their property and contents were adequately insured.

RACQ Insurance has urged Warwick residents not to be complacent despite living away from cyclone zones.

RACQ spokesman Paul Turner said the structure of the city's homes and the region's location put properties at risk of flood and fire damage.

"Both fire and flood are heartbreaking for anyone but the likelihood of a home and its entire contents being completely destroyed is greater with fire and Warwick has a very high percentage of wooden homes,” Mr Turner said.

"Living in a regional area such as the Southern Downs also makes bushfires a very real threat to homes and the city is on a major river, which floods.”

He urged residents to regularly asses the value of their homes and check it against their insurance policies.

"Ask a builder or real estate agent what the value of your home is and if you have had renovations done recently make sure they are included in the policy.”

"When you take out an insurance policy, ask your insurer whether its home and contents also covers you for all insurance, such as storm and high tide.

"No one likes to take out insurance but it provides peace of mind when you know that your home and contents can be replaced at it proper value.”

Major insurers warn that about 80% of Australian homes are under-insured.

Steps to full coverage:

Use online insurance calculators as a guide each year to help make sure you have enough cover.

The cost of rebuilding your home is not the same as its real estate value. A professional valuation by a builder can help ensure you know its replacement cost.

Rebuilding costs may also be affected by changes to local regulations and by-laws.

New furniture should also be added to contents insurance.

Your local council or a local builder can help you understand these.

Check whether your policy covers supplementary costs.

Other expenses you'll be up for if your home needs to be rebuilt such as temporary accommodation. Each insurer treats these differently.

If you work from home, you may need a separate business insurance policy.

Topics:  insurance racq

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