Insurers warn of looming solar event

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As we've touched upon in the past, one of the benefits of a polyethylene water tank made to Australian standards is its ability to stand up to the fierce and often unrelenting sun.

Australia's ozone-layer deterioration is one of the worst in the world, causing harmful ultraviolet rays to enter our atmosphere and degrade our property. The importance of considering UV protection is compounded by the chance of an extreme solar event, which insurers now say is becoming increasingly likely.

Lloyd's released a new report this month, in collaboration with scientists from the Atmospheric and Environmental Research organisation, which cited a 12 per cent chance of a major solar storm event occurring within the next 10 years.

Lloyd's General Representative Chris MacKinnon presented on the report at the the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) Convention, explaining that the destruction this could cause would be catastrophic.

"The total economic loss potential for this scenario is somewhere up around US$2.6 trillion," Insurance and Risk Professional quoted him as saying. The insurers put this cost down to electrical disruption of power grids on a massive scale, while increased UV exposure will be critical to outdoor property.

It only goes to highlight the growing pressure on businesses and homeowners to buy smart when considering their exposed products. A polyethylene water tank is no different, and will need to be made with Australia's exposed environment in mind.

Solar storms of a large enough scale to affect Earth's magnetic field are occur every 150 years or so, Lloyd's report explained, with the last event of such significance being the 1859 Carrington Event, which caused an Aurora as far north as Queensland.

To look into increasing the protection of your water storage scheme, speak to your local poly water tank supplier and ask for a tank made from Alkatuff – the polyethylene that's tough in the sun.

By David Francis

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