Unsurprisingly, caravans really don’t like staying on the ground when they’ve got cyclonic winds battering them. This is a consistent concern for caravan park operators in subtropical locations, particularly in places like Queensland. Severe weather events seem to be getting more prevalent; and insurance is, naturally, an important consideration. But what is often neglected in that thought process, is the value of a good insurance broker.
On a recent episode of the That Bad Review podcast, I spoke with Michelle Weston – General Manager of the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland. During our conversation, we talked about her experiences and lessons she has learned from caravan park operators in the wake of Cyclone Debbie. The insights that were shared reiterated my long-held belief that choosing a good insurance broker is absolutely essential in this business.
Insurance Is One Thing, A Good Broker Another
Why I so heartily recommend any park operator forming a strong relationship with a skilled and reliable broker really comes down to one reason – they will make all the difference if worse comes to worse and you have to make a claim.
Michelle’s experience speaking to those who suffered the brunt of Cyclone Debbie bears this out. “We had parks that didn’t have an assessor come through for six weeks, and then they couldn’t book tradies for another 12 weeks. For some parks it was six months of barely being operational, as a result, largely, of hold-ups through their insurance,” she says.
The Value Of A Specialist On Your Side
When the chips are down, it’s invaluable to have someone with knowledge and experience on your side dealing with your insurance company.
As Michelle says for those with good brokers communication was key. “For the people who had really good brokers, the brokers spoke to them before the cyclone hit, they spoke to them during the cyclone, or texted and spoke to them as soon as they had phone services again,” she says. But most importantly of all, “they were very quick to make sure the cash was available so that the park could start working towards reopening.”
The nature of caravan parks means they’re particularly susceptible to weather events. And whether you’re a climate change cynic or not, the experience of those affected by Cyclone Debbie really provides food for thought. The last thing you need after a serious event like a cyclone is having to wait for weeks, or months, to get your park back to a fully operational status. The fact is there will always be situations and events outside of your control that will impact your business. Make sure you are covered before, during and after as best as you can. My advice: Get a good broker. If you’ve had experiences with insurance brokers, good or bad, share it by leaving a comment below.
Listen to my entire conversation with Michelle here.