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The impact natural disasters have on premiums
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The impact natural disasters have on premiums

20 Oct 2020 5 mins read

We know premium increases are not always welcomed news (especially during a pandemic). However, at EBM RentCover we believe in being transparent about the reason why our policies are seeing a change in price. That is why we have dedicated a whole article to rising costs and (more importantly) the reasons why.

While EBM RentCover strives to keep premium increases to a minimum, sometimes there needs to be a review of prices to ensure the ongoing success of the business. 

With this in mind, a decision has been made to raise the price of our premiums from 19 October 2020 (so, all renewals from this date will see a premium increase). This will help us to continue offering cover to landlords and ensure we can deliver the outstanding service our clients have come to know and love.

We have compiled a list of FAQs to help clients better understand why this is happening…

What is the catalyst for the increase in premiums?

Simply, it was the increase in natural disasters across Australia the past 12 months, including:

  • the series of devastating bushfires in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria from 8 November 2019;
  • the hailstorm that hit South East Queensland on 17 November 2019;
  • the destructive hailstorms that struck parts of Victoria, the Australia Capital Territory and New South Wales on 19 and 20 January; and
  • the storms and flooding that lashed parts of Queensland and New South Wales from February 2020.

It is estimated that the insured losses of the recent catastrophes sit around $5.5 billion. Unfortunately, it is predicted that natural disasters will continue to be more prevalent in the future. Therefore, there is greater risk to investment properties which means there is a need to slightly change our prices.

I have never made a claim on my insurance policy and my property has not been impacted by a natural disaster – why is my premium going up? 

EBM RentCover aims to make insurance affordable for every property owner – and believe everyone is entitled to the same cover at a reasonable price. This is why EBM RentCover landlord and contents policies are priced per state, which allows us to share the risk more evenly across our portfolio. This enables us to offer cover at a fair price for all landlords regardless of where their property is located or if they have made a claim or not.

Also, while some landlords may never have been impacted by a natural disaster in the past, unfortunately none of us know when disaster might strike. Whether it is a natural disaster or an unforeseen event by a tenant (e.g. loss of rent), premiums are grouped together to cover all sorts of claims.

Building insurance policies can be a little different and are not priced per state. These premiums are dependent on varying factors including building type and sum insured. Building insurance premiums can fluctuate year-on-year (as the risk evolves) and will include a change to the underlying premium rates to account for the recent natural disasters in the last 12 months.

What is the increase in premium?

The increase changes from product to product and state to state. 

  • Click here to view premiums for RentCover Ultra
  • Click here to view premiums for RentCover Prime
  • Click here to view premiums for RentCover ShortTerm (contents only)
  • Click here to view premiums for Householders Rental (contents only)
  • Click here to view premiums for TenantCover 

For all landlord insurance policies that include cover for building (e.g. RentCover Platinum and Gold), the premium is dependent on varying factors such as building type and sum insured. Contact the EBM RentCover team for a quote. 

Does this impact the service I get at EBM RentCover?

While our premiums are changing, our commitment to go above and beyond for clients remains the same. We achieve this by:

  • confirming submission of a claim and working on it within 24 hours;
  • settling the majority of claims within five working days, pending the submission of necessary paperwork;
  • managing any claim up to the value of $70,000 in-house, allowing EBM RentCover staff to manage the time taken to process claims; and
  • aiming for a real person, not a machine, to answer all calls (we do not have an automated service because we like chatting to our clients).
Why are you increasing premiums during a pandemic?

We have done all we can to hold off on increasing premiums. However, unfortunately the prevalence of natural disasters (in the past, and expected in the future) means we need to increase prices now so we can continue offering cover to landlords.

What if I am having trouble paying my premium?

If you are having difficulty getting on top of your payment, we want to hear from you. We have options available to support you. For more information, click here.

Will there be another premium increase after the pandemic?

Unfortunately, that is a possibility. However, it will be some time before we can establish the full extent of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has on the insurance industry. At EBM RentCover, we keep premium increases to an absolute minimum and have only increased base premiums a handful of times during the past three decades.

Are the increases the same across all insurers?

Premium increases vary from insurer to insurer, and policy to policy. While it may be tempting to switch insurance providers or cancel cover during this time, there are some important things to consider:

  • If you want something cheaper, we suggest you look thoroughly at the inclusions, exclusions and restrictions on alternate cover.
  • At the moment, a lot of landlord insurance providers are no longer offering cover for rent default – if you cancel your policy, you may not be able to find this type of cover elsewhere. 
Where should I go if I need more info?

The EBM RentCover team is on hand and ready to answer any more questions you may have about this increase. Please call 1800 661 662 if you want to chat. 

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