Brokers can play an important role in managing bushfire risks

Australia has an increased bushfire risk for the summer and brokers can play an important part to ensure their clients are prepared.

Brokers can offer expert advice and guidance to current and prospective clients to ensure they are fully covered in the event of a bushfire. Brokers can demonstrate the value they bring in mitigating bush fire risks by addressing the following points:

  1. There are significant variations between insurance policies, so it is recommended that consumers speak to an insurance broker to make sure that the things that are most important to them are adequately covered.
  2. Brokers know the market and they really understand policy wordings, so consumers can be confident that they have the very best cover in place should the worst happen. Last year’s bushfires were a stark reminder
    of how quickly natural catastrophes can strike, and why it’s so important to have the right level of cover.
  3. One of the major issues to emerge from recent fire catastrophes is the gap between the average sum insured and the actual rebuilding cost, combined with a lack of consumer understanding about properties being
    required to comply with the Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL) rating system.
  4. Over the past 10 years there have been some quite dramatic changes in regulation around planning, developing, building and rebuilding properties in fire-prone areas and many policyholders are simply not aware of these changes, brokers can play an important role in ensuring they are adequately advised.

NIBA CEO Dallas Booth says, “It is all about brokers demonstrating that they are trusted advisers and about converting understanding into risk mitigation action.”

Quick tips from the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) that brokers could communicate to clients:

  • Know the fire danger rating for any given day
  • Turn on sprinklers in the garden before the bushfire arrives
  • Clear leaves, twigs, bark and other debris from the roof and gutters
  • Move flammable items away from your home, such as woodpiles, paper, boxes, crates, hanging baskets and garden furniture
  • Seek out information if you have to and do not assume that you will receive a warning
  • Listen to ABC local radio for updates

You can download the ICA checklist here. Brokers can point clients to their state’s fire authority for guidance: NSWVicQldSAWAACT and Tas.