We believe that making insurance affordable is very important and want all residents of homes within land lease communities to be able to afford to protect their most important asset.
Our insurance premium has increased quite significantly over the last couple of years. This has been driven by many different factors over the last few years including minor indentations of hail to roofs around Australia. This has been a key driver for us needing to increase our premiums, as well as introducing a hail excess.
The majority of homes within land lease communities across Australia have COLORBOND roofs.
A roofs function is to keep the weather elements out of your home. COLORBOND roofs are built to last under the harsh Australian climate and withstand extreme heat and cold, to dust, rain, wind and hail. Refer to the COLORBOND website for further information.
Over the last several months, MHIA have engaged independent engineers to review a large number of homes throughout the land lease communities nationally which have had some minor hail indentations to their main roof.
A number of these homes have had minor hail indentations for many years without policyholders being aware. These minor hail indentations are not viewable unless you are specifically looking whilst on the roof and in some instances chalking them in order to be able to see them via a photograph.
The engineers reports concluded that the minor hail indentations do not impact the lifespan, water shedding capacity or usefulness of the roof and therefore does not warrant repair or replacement.
COLORBOND have a Technical Bulletin which states that their roof sheets are built to withstand hail and unless the indentations are significant, and the pitch of the roof is low (less than 5 degrees) it will not reduce the lifespan of the roof. Generally, homes have a roof pitch more than 10 degrees.
MHIA are of the view that any minor indentations are general wear and tear which will happen to roofs over the period of their lifespan. Similar to the discolouration of the roof, that occurs over time from the sun.
The Macquarie dictionary defines damage as:
Injury or harm that impairs value or usefulness
MHIA conclude that minor indentations that do not affect the appearance or aesthetic of the roof from the perspective of an ordinary attendant to the home site on the ground, and does not constitute damage according to the Macquarie dictionary definition.
Based on all of the above, MHIA’s Policy will not cover minor hail indentations on the main roof unless the hail reduces the water shedding capacity or the expected lifespan of the roof.
However, MHIA will cover hail indentations on certain items for example; carports, aluminium shutters, awnings, windows, fly screens where the hail indentations affect the appearance or aesthetic of these items from the perspective of an ordinary attendant at the home site.
This decision will assist us in keeping our premiums affordable as research conducted by University of New South Wales Sydney (UNSW) has predicted that the frequency of hail storms in Australia will increase.
We have also included the links to the COLORBOND Technical Bulletin and the research conducted by UNSW.
Bluescope Steel - COLORBOND Technical Bulletin
University of New South Wales (UNSW) - How will climate change affect hailstorms?
Macquarie Dictionary - Defintion of damage
MHIA Insurance have recently conducted a case study to analyse hail indentations on a COLORBOND roof a decade after they occurred from a hailstorm with hail stones the size of golf balls.
Our findings were aligned with the advice expressed by BlueScope in their Technical Bulletin 32, particularly with respect to the lack of impact hail indentations have on the lifespan and performance of the pre-painted steel roof sheeting.
You can download a copy of the case study below.
Click below to see examples of what is, and is not considered hail damage.
Example: John and Susan reside in a land lease community that experienced a recent hail event. They could see that the hail had perforated the pergola roof. As the hail has impacted the pergola roofs structural integrity meaning the roof is no longer fit for its purpose, this is classed as hail damage. John and Susan lodged a claim, paid there hail excess and MHIA organised the repairs through one of there preferred repairers.
Example: John and Susan reside in a land lease community that experienced a recent hail event. They were unable to see any hail damage to there home however, were unsure if the roof was damaged by the hail. They contacted MHIA to lodge a claim to assess there roof. MHIA organised assessment of the roof. The assessor confirmed that there was minor marks and or dents to the roof that has not impacted the structural integrity of the roof therefore, it is not considered damaged* and is still fit for its purpose.
Does your claim meet the criteria above? Click the link below and get started online.
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