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Bushfire insurance

All home and contents insurance policies on Finder cover you if your home is damaged or destroyed by a bushfire – but only some cover smoke damage.

What you need to know

  • Bushfire insurance can pay to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged by a bushfire – up to your sum insured.
  • You will not be covered for bushfires if you took out a policy in the last 72 hours.
  • Some policies do not cover smoke or soot damage when no damage from fire has occurred.

How does home insurance cover bushfires?

Home and contents insurance covers loss or damage as a result of a bushfire. This can include repairing or rebuilding your property and replacing your belongings. Most policies also cover:

Apartment

Temporary accommodation

If your home is destroyed by a bushfire or is unsafe to stay in, policies will pay for temporary accommodation for you – often for up to 12 months. The costs are often covered in addition to your rebuild costs (sum insured). Youi and QBE can also pay for temporary accommodation if you are told to evacuate by the authorities.

Excavator

Demolition and debris removal

If your home is destroyed, it can cost thousands of dollars to demolish what’s left and get rid of debris. Most policies will cover you for between 10% and 20% of your rebuild costs (sum insured) – this is in addition to your sum insured. For example, if your home is insured for $1 million, insurers will pay up to $100,000 for demolition. Only some, such as Australian Seniors, offer a flat fee of $15,000.

Architecture and surveying

Surveying and architecture

Insurers can cover redesign work that needs to be completed to repair or rebuild your
home after a bushfire – for example, survey work, design work and legal work. Once again, you will usually be covered for around 10% of your home’s rebuild costs (sum insured).

Architecture and surveying

Storing your belongings

This pays for the removal of your bushfire-damaged belongings and to temporarily store your undamaged contents. The costs typically will be covered in addition to your home’s rebuild costs.

Warning
When you won't be covered
When you take out a home insurance policy, you won't be covered for bushfire damage claims within the first 72 hours.

What’s the best home insurance for bushfires?

Both Youi and QBE are the only insurers we looked at to cover bushfires, soot and smoke damage from a bushfire and temporary accommodation if you’re told by authorities you need to evacuate.

We selected Youi as our top overall pick for fire damage because it can also cover damage from an accidental fire 100m from your home.

Best home insurance policies

BenefitsYouiBudget DirectHoneyQBEEverydayBendigo BankAustralian SeniorsQantas
Bushfire
Soot/smoke from bushfire
Temporary accommodation: evacuation

Calculating your rebuild costs

When you take out home insurance, you’ll typically be asked how much you want to insure your home for (sometimes called the sum insured) which involves calculating how much it would cost to rebuild your home.

This is important because if a bushfire totally destroyed your home, you want to make sure your insurance will fully cover you. It’s not an easy task but there are a couple of ways you can do it:

calculator

Use a home insurance calculator

Online building and contents insurance calculators can help you calculate your rebuild costs. They can also factor in the current cost of building materials. To make sure your rebuild costs are accurate, review your policy every year and adjust your cover amount accordingly. You’ll also want to adjust your contents cover if you’ve purchased new items.

sum insured

Consider an underinsurance safety net

Some insurers such as Budget Direct, Qantas and Honey offer safeguards in case you don't insure your home for the amount it costs to rebuild it. ANZ, on the other hand, offers total replacement cover. This will pay for the entire rebuild costs.

How to make a home insurance claim for bushfires

If you have evacuated, don’t return home until you’re advised it is safe to do so. The Insurance Council of Australia recommends you do the following in the event of a claim:

  • Call your insurer before you attempt any repairs – ask for the insurer's permission in writing. Otherwise, you might not be covered.
  • If your home isn't safe to stay in, contact the local authorities and get in touch with your home insurer. They may be able to cover you for temporary accommodation.
  • Take lots of photos of the damage and keep samples of materials to show the insurance assessor.
  • Don't bin any items that could be repaired.
  • If you're in urgent need of financial assistance, ask your insurer to fast track your claim. You may be able to receive an advance payment to you within 5 business days. This may be deducted from the total value of your claim.
  • If your claim is finalised within 1 month, you still have an additional 6 months from the finalisation date to ask for a review of your claim. This can be helpful if you think the insurer hasn't accurately determined your loss.

Rural fire and bushfire services

Compare or review your current bushfire cover with these home insurers

1 - 7 of 21
Name Product Finder Rating
Finder AwardBonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: The most popular insurer on Finder, Budget Direct prioritises low-cost cover and gives you up to 30% off your first year for new combined policies purchased online. This is a big reason it won this year’s Finder Award for value.
Youi Building and Contents Insurance
4.5/5★★★★★
Best Rated Brand
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Finder’s 2022 Insurer of the Year for Customer Satisfaction and our Top Pick for Fire Damage cover. It’s good if you want a tailored quote over the phone.
QBE Home & Contents Insurance
3.5/5★★★★★
Green CompanyBonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
3.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Finder's Top Pick for Floods plus cover for other common claims such as fire and theft). Its discount is better than most – 20% off your first year with a combined policy.
Honey Home & Contents Insurance
4.5/5★★★★★
Finder AwardBonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Honey gives you $250 smart sensors to reduce accidents and estimates your rebuild costs for you. Honey was a finalist for the comprehensive category in this year’s Finder Awards.
Bonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
3.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Covers common claims such as fire, storms, floods and rain. It’s also very helpful if you need to rebuild following a disaster. It offers a special safeguard of up to 30%.
Kogan Home & Contents Insurance
3/5★★★★★
Bonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
3/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Good comprehensive cover (issued by QBE). Also, get 16% off on your first year's premium when you purchase a new combined Home & Contents insurance policy online + $10 monthly credit. T&Cs apply.
Qantas Home and Contents Insurance
4.5/5★★★★★
BonusFinder Award Finalist
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Home Insurance policy you take out by 22 April. T&Cs and exclusions apply.
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Frequently asked questions

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