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Bushfire season insurance tips

9 Nov 2015 | Added by EBM



As our hot Australian summer fast approaches, so too does our risk of bushfire damage.


It’s essential to be prepared with a survival plan in place by preparing the property itself and making sure your insurance cover is up to date.


If you operate a business it’s important to have a business continuity plan in place as this insures you have an idea of what to do in case of fire damage to your building and if your customers or suppliers are affected.


It’s strange that in poet Dorothea Mackellar’s famous land of “flood and fire and famine” so many Australians still don’t insure their homes, businesses and possessions – or underinsure them.


In January of this year as the smoke from South Australia's most recent bushfires began to clear the total damage bill was approximately $10 million. The South Australian government estimated that over half of the dozen houses and 200 farms that were lost did not have adequate insurance to cover all of their sky high costs.


It was a similar story six years earlier in Victoria, when the catastrophic Black Saturday fires of 2009 cost 173 lives and destroyed more than 2000 homes – more than 10 per cent of which were uninsured while many more didn’t have enough insurance.


Here are some tips for making sure you’re adequately covered if your property burns down:

  • Ensure your building insurance covers the actual cost of rebuilding; the sum insured should be the cost of replacing the building, rather than its market value.
  • When calculating your contents insurance include objects such as clothes, rugs, linen, crockery and pictures on the walls.
  • Taking pictures and videos in each room of the house will be helpful in reminding you of what you actually own and help you substantiate the loss.
  • Keep current lists of all your major possessions including their serial numbers. It will make it easier to find if you email yourself a version.
  • Keep your receipts for expensive valuables such as your jewellery and electronics and consider having these items specified on the policy.
  • Review your cover annually to keep up to date.
  • Research a few insurance companies and get the best deal.
  • Compare policies on the level of cover, and any excesses that apply, not just on the cost of the policy.
  • Always ensure safeguards are in place to prevent a fire and be prepared with a plan of action.

To discuss your business, farming, investment and other insurance needs, contact EBM today.


Our advice about insurance is provided for your general information and does not take into account your individual needs. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement and Policy Wording prior to making a decision, these can be obtained directly from EBM.