As Christmas holidays approach we finally get our chance to visit Perth’s beautiful beaches. Unfortunately, dry heat and winds bring significant fire risk to you, your loved ones and property. Having just experienced the driest Autumn in five years, Perth and the South West have been warned to brace for increased bushfire risk this season. What can you do to ensure you’re covered?
Review Your Insurance
Now is the time to review your home building and home contents insurance, and check you have satisfactory cover. You can go to the Centrewest homepage to find links to Home and Contents Calculators that will help you evaluate what sum insured you require. For commercial buildings, your Centrewest broker can assist you with the Cordell Building Guide.
How Centrewest Helps
Excellent terms within most of the Steadfast Business Pack policies we offer include Catastrophe Inflation Protection. Meaning if the Australian Government or relevant authorities declare the bushfire that destroyed your property a ‘catastrophe’ as per the definition in the wording, you may be offered an additional 20% of your sum insured to rebuild the premises.
For Home building insurance, your policy will pay to rebuild or repair your building and also pay the additional costs required to comply with government or local authority bylaws. This is paid up to the value of $25,000 in any one period of insurance, assuming your home already met compliance standards prior to the event.
Look to Government Departments for Bushfire Information
Visit the State Government’s Are You Ready? website for information on how to prepare your property and create an evacuation plan. The WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) website also offers you their 5 Minute Fire Chat to ensure you think of everything you need to flea or defend. And finally, your local council will be able to help. They will often have acts in place for fire prevention within your council zone, such as clearing flammable material and firebreaks, that will be important to your preparation. Know your area and your responsibilities, or potentially face a fine.
Easy Fixes For Right Now
- Clear your gutters of debris and leaves, and continue to do so all summer
- Limit the amount of trees you have in close proximity of the property and create a protection zone around it, including maintaining trimmed lawns
- Install ember guards. These are designed to lower the risk of an ember attack getting into your roof cavity. Building a home over the summer? Check your BAL rating to ensure your house is compliant to the regulations for fire hazardous areas
- Inspect your roof for damage, and repair and replace any tiles required
- Check and maintain the seals on your windows and doors
- Make sure your property has water/hoses that are able to supply the whole property if needed
For any remaining questions to do with your insurance, make sure you contact your broker today on 08 9349 7900!