News outlets across the country have issued various reminders and warnings for Australians to be prepared for the upcoming bushfire season this summer. A strong El Nino weather pattern could see very dry conditions create a significantly increased fire risk.
Below we provide some advice on how you can best prepare your property and make sure your insurance coverage adequately protects your most important assets.
It has been the prediction of many experts, that this coming summer will see multiple regions across Australia face a higher than usual bushfire risk. These regions include NSW, Victoria, Southern Queensland and WA.
Serious bushfires can occur in both rural and suburban communities. Featured in Insurance News, Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre CEO - Richard Thornton points out that “it must also be remembered that even in the ‘normal’ areas we will get bushfires – that is what happens in Australia. People always need to prepare and get plans in place.”
Every year in Australia, thousands of homes face the risk of bushfires, and this year has been flagged to be particularly bad as El Nino has now been reported at its strongest since the 1997/98 record event.
This observation is particularly concerning for the upcoming summer months and it definitely pays to be prepared from two angles:
- Property risk prevention measures
- Your Insurance policy coverage
Majority of houses can survive most bushfires with planning and effort. Preventative measures to minimise damage to your property may include keeping gutters clear, installing new batteries in smoke alarms, keeping grass trimmed, and clearing any overhanging branches away from your home.
It is recommended by country fire authorities that if possible, you should have a 20 metre “circle of safety” around your home clear of major vegetation or rubbish to reduce the risk that burning vegetation or wood piles will spark your house alight.
Look for items likely to burn or places where embers could start a fire, for example embers can enter through gaps in roofs, walls, evaporative air conditioners and gutters. It is strongly advised by country fire authorities that you install a stainless steel open weave mesh cover over your evaporative air conditioner and metal fly screens on your windows and vents to keep sparks and embers out of your home.
For more fire prevention information visit the CFA website.
Adequate Home Insurance coverage
It is of the utmost importance that you ensure your current Home and Contents Insurance policy provides adequate cover for any losses to your personal property should you be affected by bushfires. Don’t find yourself underinsured at a time when you need it most.
We suggest some of the following measures so you are prepared if / when you need to make a claim due to damage caused by a bushfire:
*Use our home CONTENTS CALCULATOR to help you ascertain an accurate value of your contents so you have adequate cover and don’t find yourself under insured.
**Check building codes and materials required for building in bushfire prone areas here.
Each state’s fire authority provides regular updates to residents on imminent bushfire threats. If you live in an at-risk region, we recommend you check your local updates daily and stay prepared to keep your family and your property safe this season.
For further advice on ensuring your insurance policy provides adequate cover for your home and contents, contact Whitbread Insurance Brokers on Ph: 1300 424 627 or email: email@example.com
This article is not intended to be advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice. Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd ABN 69 005 490 228 Licence Number: 229092 trading as Whitbread Insurance Brokers for further information or refer to our website.