There’s nothing like a week of earthquakes, floods and gales to make you realise the importance of being prepared for disaster. It’s not only environmental conditions that create disaster; there are personal disasters too, such as serious illness, loss of a family member or loss of a job.
A disaster of magnitude has financial consequences, whether it is loss of property, a temporary loss of income, loss of the ability to earn income, or increased costs. Preparing for a disaster starts with asking the ‘What if….” question. What if I am involved in a serious earthquake? What if I suffer a serious illness or injury and I am not able to work again for several months or even years? Try and imagine yourself being in that situation today to identify what you need to do to be prepared.
- Is your home and business insurance up to date? The Earthquake Commission provides insurance for homes, land and contents for natural disasters. However, to make a claim from the Commission you need to have a current home or contents insurance policy.
- If you run a business, do you have business interruption insurance? You can arrange cover for lost income or expenses if your business is not able to operate as usual.
- Do you have adequate life insurance and income protection insurance? If you were to lose your life or suffer a serious injury or illness, your family may be left in a dire financial situation.
- Do you have an emergency fund? The rule of thumb is to be able to easily access three months of living expenses.
- Do you have all your insurance details to hand? Scan your policy details and keep them on a flashdrive in your emergency kit or other safe place so you can quickly make a claim.