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Summer in Australia is a great time of year. There’s a lot to enjoy, including plenty of public holidays, long days and great weather. But along with these great perks, summer comes with its own unique set of challenges and risks every small business should be aware of.
With record breaking temperatures becoming more and more frequent it’s important to look at how the heat may affect your business. In the last few weeks alone the Sydney Harbour Tunnel was closed due to a power outage, and thousands of homes across WA,NSW, SA, ACT and QLD have also been left with no power. These have been due to summer weather conditions including electrical storms or extreme heat.
If your business was impacted by a power outage, would it still be business as usual? If not how much revenue would you potentially lose during an extended interruption? Along with that does your business use refrigeration for goods or stock? If so what sort of damage could an extended interruption cause?
If you have a generator, you’re pretty safe. If not ensure that when you get your Business Insurance you also cover for Business Interruption which can help cover your business for money lost due to a significant interruption to your normal business operation.
Common also during the hotter months is the overheating and breakdown of machinery and equipment. Electrical surges can be frequent and a breakdown of equipment such as a freezer could have a devastating effect on your business. BizCover has seen claims for over $30,000 due to the loss of stock from the breakdown of a freezer.
Machinery Breakdown can be covered under a Business Insurance pack; this will cover the repair or replacement of the machinery. Deterioration of Stock in most cases will be an optional benefit and will not always be covered so it’s important to check that you are adequately covered.
With the summer comes longer daylight hours many people want to take advantage of. As many small businesses shut to enjoy the summer, they can be a prime target for theft or vandalism.
To minimise these risks, make sure the area around your premises are well lit and if you are in a high risk area you can hire a drive by security to cover this period.
You can also cover your business from these worst case scenarios. Glass Cover, under a Business Insurance Pack will cover your for damage to any glass (internal or external) on your premise. Theft Cover, under a Business Insurance Pack, will pay you for theft of machinery, content, stock in trade or raw materials. This cover differs from policy to policy so make sure to read the fine print to be aware of what you are covered for.
It’s also important to note that in the many cases an insurer will not pay out if your building has been unoccupied for more than 60 consecutive days.
Another common Australian peril of the hot summer months is bushfires. Since the start of 2015 more than 300,000 hectares of land have been burnt in bushfires across Australia, the majority of these between the months of November and February.
If you operate in a fire prone area it’s important to make sure you are covered for a fire. Not all insurance policies will cover a bushfire so it’s important to take a second to make sure that it is by reading your Product Disclosure Statement.
The hot months bring their own perils but if you are impacted by them, having the right insurance cover can mean that your business can continue despite any setbacks.