Large areas of Australia suffer from the threat of bushfires. Each year, bushfires cause severe damage to property, assets and lives. Unfortunately for us all, Australia is predicted to experience an increasing number of fire events over the coming years, with fire seasons starting earlier and earlier and running longer than in previous years.
While State and Territory protocols vary, the common theme is to prepare and plan. If you live in a high risk bushfire area, planning and managing risks will decrease the risk of damage to life, property and assets.
The Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) system was introduced in 2009, after the Black Saturday bushfires. BAL ranks the different intensity levels a home may experience during a bushfire. It takes into account the region where the home is located, the type of vegetation around the property, the distance the property is from different vegetation types and the slope of the property.
CGU ran a free webinar to explain how the BAL works. Just click play to watch the webinar.
BAL's range from BAL-Low to BAL-FZ (Fire zone), with each level in between requiring more fire resistant building materials. Not factoring in BAL ratings when calculating insurance leaves owners open to the problem of underinsurance.
There is a free calculator available here that allows you to calculate your BAL. It's important that you ensure you have all the facts about your property before deciding what level of insurance you require.
It's important that you insure your property for the right value. Underinsuring your home and possessions may save you a small amount of money in the short term but it can also mean you will have to pay far more to replace or repair damage. Cheaper premiums often mean less coverage and lower payouts.