Bush Fire Season is Underway

Posted On: Thursday, November 20th, 2014  In: Blog

Bush Fire Season

Is your Bush Fire Survival Plan up to date?

We have witnessed in the last few years an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters not only in Australia but around the world as a result of climate change.

The Productivity Commission’s interim report is recommending an increase in mitigation funding and a reduction in financial support for relief and recovery following flood and fire damage.

In the 10 years to 2013 the Federal Government spent $8b on post disaster relief and recovery and state and territories spent a further $5.6b   The PC’s draft recommendations are to invest in mitigation and insurance.

This advice can be headed by individuals and businesses, particularly in the light of the level of underinsurance in Australia.

Examples of disasters and damage last year

Year Cause Where Claims Insured losses
2013 Fires Tasmania 1900 $89m
2013 Cyclone Oswald Qld 89000 $987m
2013 Cyclone Oswald NSW 8000 $121m
2013 Blue Mountains Fires NSW 1812 $187m

 

Approximately 80% of those affected by fires in the Blue Mountains were underinsured and only 12% had purchased total replacement policies for their property.

Only half of those who lost homes have lodged applications to rebuild.  Many have found given new building regulations that the cost of rebuilding is higher than the sum for which they were insured.  Online calculators for rebuild of property do not always take into account Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) ratings which impose mandatory design features and specific materials increasing the rebuild cost of a house or commercial property by up to 30%.  If you live or operate your business in a bushfire prone area it is advisable to seek the advice of a broker to ensure you have adequate cover.  Underinsurance can be as ineffective as no insurance.

Natural disasters have a wider reaching socio-economic impact as businesses are closed, tourism is affected and job losses occur.  You can mitigate against these with the right insurance cover which may include business interruption insurance to help you get your business back up and running.

As we  move into the bush fire season, whether you’re planning to stay at home or go on holiday, revisit your Bushfire Survival Plan.  Advice is available through the Rural Fire Service who have great resources online at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or call them on 1800 NSW RFS.

If you’re concerned that your business or home is underinsured seek professional advice from a qualified insurance broker who will be able to provide you with advice about the right cover.

Call Peter Vickers Insurance Brokers on 1300 784 011

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