Large areas of Australia suffer from the threat of bushfires. 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 or work in a high risk bushfire area, planning and managing risks will decrease the risk of damage to life, property and assets.
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. Online tools, such as our home and contents calculators, can be useful in giving you an idea of your replacement cost estimates or you can call us on 13 24 81 to find out more1.
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.
There is also 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.
Bushfire preparation checklist
This bushfire preparation checklist outlines a few basic steps to take before, during and after a bushfire. It is essential that you plan well in advance, have an Emergency Kit packed and that everyone in the family or workplace understands the plan of action.
For more detailed information on bushfires in your state or territory, visit the Bureau of Meteorology.
Preparing your home or business
- Regularly clean leaves from gutters, and fit metal leaf guards
- Move woodpiles and other flammable materials away from your property
- Draw up your own bushfire 'plan of action'
- Pack an emergency kit
- Also include matches, fuel lamp, portable stove, cooking and eating utensils, if there is a chance you will be without electricity for a longer time
In case of evacuation
- Turn off gas and power
- Close all doors and windows
During a fire
- Wear protective clothing, such as enclosed shoes
- Use protective glasses
After the fire
- Check the safety of your power supplies
- Ensure all embers around your property are extinguished
This page provides general advice that CGU Insurance has sourced from emergency services. For up-to-date and specific advice relating to the risks in your area please speak to your local council or emergency services.
Things you should know
1 Building and contents calculators are provided by CoreLogic and should only be used as a guide. These calculators' estimates may be different than estimates you get during your quote. We do not guarantee the accuracy or currency of the estimates.