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Make sure your customers are aware of bushfire risks

The forecast for this Bushfire seasons suggest that the majority of Australia has an above average risk due to the sustained periods of low rain fall propagating dry forests and grasslands. Bushfires seasons are forecast to last longer and be more severe. Bushfires are innate to the Australian ecosystem. Bushfire attacks continue to be sudden and devastating.

CGU have been there when customers needed it most after catastrophic events such as bushfires. During the 2009 CGU provided emergency accommodation to customers whose homes were damaged or destroyed or who were unable to regain access to their homes. We also provided emergency funds for customers to ensure they were able to meet their immediate needs, such as food and clothing.

The severity of the Black Saturday Bushfires resulted in the national implementation of Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessments. BAL is a classification system based on the attack a property would likely encounter during a bushfire; the system adds building requirements that become more stringent as the BAL assessment increases.

BAL assessments have escalated the wide spread problem of underinsurance by increasing the cost to rebuild by up to an additional $75,000, this means even a diligent customer may still be significantly underinsured. During the recent Blue Mountains Bushfire over 70% of the victims were unaware of the BAL assessments; furthermore the most common reason for the victims’ underinsurance was “Lack of awareness of cost to rebuild”.

In an effort to minimise underinsurance CGU hosted a BAL webinar on the 3rd of October. The Webinar detailed case studies and information on BAL Calculations in an easy to understand format. The Webinar went out to over 250 partners all over Australia. As a way to further assist partners in conveying the links between BAL and Underinsurance, CGU have created the BAL Resource Centre.

The BAL Resource centre includes a link to the recording of the webinar, links to the BAL rating calculators, forecasts, contact lists for relevant state authorities and an FAQ. The BAL Resource Centre was designed to make all the information needed available on one webpage.

To access the BAL Resource Centre click here.