Bushfires are incredibly serious. Thanks to the heat, wind, and dryness of the grass, they can quickly spread across vast distances. In the process, they place people’s homes, lives, and livelihoods in danger.
The sad fact is that roughly 50% of bushfires are started intentionally. Climate change is also playing a part and the number of bushfires being experienced every year is increasing. If you live in a bushfire zone then you need to prepare your home to protect it as much as possible. You also need to make sure you have the right level of insurance cover.
It may surprise you to know that all home insurance policies in Australia include bushfire cover. However, they don’t all include the same level of cover. You are going to need to check that the cover offered will be enough if the worst does happen.
The basic cover will give you the sum insured on your home and may even include a sum for your pets. Your car insurance will cover your vehicle if it is damaged, providing you have fire and theft cover.
But, the policy will only cover what you have declared as the value of your possessions. You need to check and adjust the policy if necessary.
Your insurance company will have established the cost of rebuilding your home but you should get a quote to find out I the insurance company have taken all factors into account and have the figure correct.
You should also evaluate the honest cost of replacing everything in your home. Most people underestimate this on their insurance policy. You’ll want enough coverage to allow you to restore your home to what it was before the fire.
Reducing The Premium
Of course, the more value you place on these things the greater your insurance cost will be. That’s why you need to talk to your insurance company about what you can do to reduce the cost of your cover.
There may be parts of your policy that don’t apply to your property and these can be removed. But, the best way to reduce the cost of your insurance is to add bushfire precautions to your home.
That means fitting bushfire shutters, committing to regular landscaping, signing up to a warning system, and anything else your insurer recommends.
Know The Facts
Two other essential elements need to be covered when sorting your insurance policy.
The first is that most policies have a waiting period. This is the period between when you take out the policy and you can make a claim. If something happens to your home in the meantime it is effectively uninsured. You can’t avoid the waiting period but you can keep an old policy running or choose to upgrade your policy outside of bushfire season.
The other thing to note is that the detail of a policy can be misleading. You are likely to find that fire is only covered in specific conditions. Make sure you know exactly what your policy is and when it will payout. If you don’t take the time to do this you may find that you are out of pocket when it matters most.