Insuring the Top of Australia
Mark Adams from Allrisk Insurance, who is also one of our ‘Group Experts’ of Facebook, has provided an expanded version of his website’s advice on insurance in Far North WA, NT and Far North Queensland (FNQ).
The existing page, which can be found here, provides a great overview of how the 26th Parallel, which is the 26th measure of latitude below the equator, affects insurance in Australia.
It's an interesting read so enjoy!
Why is it important?
Insurers use your location in relation to the 26th parallel as an initial ‘rule of thumb’ for rating insurance premiums (or even whether they will provide a quote at all, in some cases). Some insurers are more flexible on this point, but generally speaking they will consider sites above that point to have a higher cyclone risk. In many of those locations it could also affect the cost of materials and building in general.
The existing tool
The existing page (mentioned in the intro) also provides a really useful visual tool, which shows the 26th parallel as a yellow line, and allows you too zoom into the map to the areas in WA or QLD, so you can see if you are above or below that line.
NT is not included in the ‘zoomable’ map, because it is entirely above the 26th parallel, which runs across exactly inline with the bottom border of NT.
If you like visual aids this one is great.
Alternative way to check
You may find that your site is very close to the 26th Parallel, and it might therefore be difficult to tell if you’re above or below it (or you may simply not like the visual approach). So here is another, possibly even easier, way you can check using google maps.
First it’s important to understand how to recognise which latitudes are above the 26th and which are below. Any latitude below the equator is assigned a negative, so for example the 26th parallel is at latitude -26. The smaller the number, the closer to the equator you are, and therefore the farther north you are in terms of Australian locations.
The Northernmost point of Australia is the tip of Cape York Peninsula at -10.41, so all numbers ranging from -10.41 to -26 are above the 26th parallel.
For an example let’s have a look at the library in Mount Perry in QLD, at 66 Heusman St, Mount Perry QLD 4671.
When you search the address in google maps (https://www.google.com.au/maps) if you look in the URL at the top you’ll see the latitude.
We’re looking at the first number that shows right after the @ after the address itself
This one is at -25.17.. so is above the 26th parallel.
Some insurers will check this themselves, but not all have rating tools that work it out, so you will often be asked to confirm if you’re above or below the 26th parallel. This applies to various types of insurance, not just owner-builder construction insurance.
In relation to owner-builder insurance though, it can make a big difference.
Owner-builder insurance is a very niche market, and while there may appear to be plenty of providers, at the back end there are only about 4 actual insurers doing this type of cover. 2-3 of those will most often decline risks above the 26th parallel.
If this affects you, speak to Mark Adams at Allrisk for individual advice and assistance, either via their website, or on 1300 255 747.
Until next time,
Happy Building 🙂