Mark says that both homeowners and small business owners need education on how to get the kind of quality financial advice that will ensure they are covered in the event of another natural disaster like the Queensland floods.
“Australians consider insurance a ‘grudge purchase’, something we have to have, but don’t really pay much attention to when we sign up,” says Yellow Brick Road Executive Chairman Mark Bouris.
“The problem is that insurance is always a ‘you get what you pay for’’ scenario, so people need to understand their coverage so that they know what they can expect if disaster strikes.”
While flood cover may be available in some cases, subject to additional cost, most insurers exclude flood damage from a basic policy.
“The problem is that most insurers won’t offer flood protection because they can’t, in turn, reinsure so that they’re not faced with financial ruin themselves in the face of major floods. That is why we need the government to set up a reinsurance scheme which services APRA-approved insurers for catastrophes,” says Bouris.
Mark has a number of financial recovery tips for those who have already been affected by the floods.
“In addition to Centrelink, there are other programs in place to assist people with their current loans, term deposits, credit cards and insurance policies. It’s essential that people who have been affected by the floods get in touch with their bank or lender to find out if they are eligible for benefits which can provide relief in this time of need,” says Bouris.
Dependent on the policy of your particular lender or financial institution, you may be able to access one or more of the following:
- The opportunity to defer home loan repayments for up to three months
- Emergency credit limit increases on credit cards and deference of payment for 90 days
- The ability to restructure business loans without incurring a fee
- The ability to refinance personal loans at a discounted fixed rate
- Grants and loans for small businesses, plus repair/replacement funds
While these programs are all available, every situation is different, so people should contact their bank or lender as soon as possible to find out what opportunities are available.
Also see our article: Tips for mortgage holders affected by the Queensland floods