How the floods up north and the war in Ukraine impact us all

The floods in NSW and QLD are beyond devastating, with flood waters in some cases up to 15 metres. Unthinkable really, and our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbours in the north.

However, we’re a nation that’s used to natural disasters, from floods, to storms, to bushfires. And the conversation that often arises when these horrible things occur, centres on insurance.

When thinking about all your insurances, it’s important to consider what you’re covered for, but also what you’re not covered for.

For example, there is a difference between flood and storm damage coverage, just as there is a difference between trauma and critical illness policies.

Similarly, there are some travel insurance providers that are now excluding COVID coverage, particularly in the US.

The lesson is to make sure you’re actually covered for what you believe you need to be covered for. The downside is that the more coverage you have, the higher your premiums are likely to be. But in the face of complete, catastrophic loss, the extra premium cost will pale into insignificance.

In other news, considering the ongoing war in Ukraine, markets remain volatile.

Much of the international response to the crisis has centred on financial sanctions against Russian billionaires and businesses, as well as Russia being excluded from the global SWIFT payment network, which is seriously hampering their ability to do business internationally.

The good news is that by restricting Russia’s access to SWIFT and other financial instruments, share markets haven’t fallen nearly as much as they otherwise might have.

The bad news is that the ongoing sanctions are likely to hit all of us in one way or another.

From a share market perspective, the conflict will affect commodities that Russia exports and imports, as the world turns away from any kind of trade with them.

And from a consumer perspective, I expect petrol prices to go up even further, and increased shipping costs could impact the cost of some goods. For example, Russia is an exporter of wheat, which could impact the price of bread and pasta products.