Media Release

Bushfire season: 1 in 2 regional Aussies not prepared

        • Last year's bushfire season cost insurers $13.5 billion in claims
        • Only 1 in 10 regional Aussies have taken out home and contents insurance
        • How to reduce the cost of your insurance premiums

9 December 2020, Sydney, Australia – Despite last year's unprecedented bushfire season, millions of Australians are not taking measures to protect their homes, according to new research by Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site.

A new Finder survey shows that 51% of respondents living in regional areas are not preparing their home for the bushfire season.

These areas can be vastly more prone to hazardous bushfire conditions.

According to Finder analysis of the Insurance Council of Australia's data, last year's bushfire season cost insurers $13.5 billion in claims, making it one of the most costly fires in Australian history.

Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, urges Australians to prepare themselves for the natural disaster season this year.

"While it's looking like the bushfire conditions won't be as bad as last year, it's risky to be complacent.

"If last weekend's warm weather is anything to go by, we're not out in the clear. If you live in regional Australia – or in an area prone to bushfires – now is the time to prepare."

One the flip side, 49% of regional Australians are taking measures to protect their homes.

Of these people, over 1 in 4 (28%) are cleaning up their gardens and removing dry leaf matter.

More than 1 in 5 (23%) have created an evacuation plan, and 1 in 10 (9%) have purchased items like fire blankets and extinguishers.

"Make your property as fire safe as possible. Small changes – such as cutting back the trees on your property – can make a big difference," said Browne.

"Get your evacuation plan in order, clean up your garden and invest in fire protective gear such as longer hoses and fire blankets."

A further 1 in 10 (10%) have taken out home insurance to cover themselves against bushfire-related damage.

"Consider home and contents insurance. You'll typically need to wait between 48 and 72 hours before you can make a claim so the sooner you compare policies and take one out, the better.

"Make sure that the policy you pick covers you for bushfires. While most offer cover for natural disasters, this definition can differ between insurers on exactly what and how much you're covered for. It's important to check those details before choosing an insurer."



How are Aussies preparing for bushfire season?

RegionalMetro
Gardening to remove fire hazards28%18%
Evacuation plan23%12%
Purchasing fire extinguishers and blankets9%11%
Home and contents insurance10%11%
Moved to an area less prone to fires7%2%
Other3%2%
I'm not preparing51%63%

Finder October survey 1,011 respondents



How to reduce the cost of your home and contents insurance

  • Take out multiple policies. If you hold multiple policies with the same insurer, such as your car insurance and home insurance, you may qualify for a multi-policy discount.
  • Look for deals and discounts. Some insurers will offer you a discount on your premium if you purchase online, or if you're a senior. Check out Finder's page on premium discounts to find yourself a deal.
  • Make the switch. When it comes to your financial products, loyalty doesn't pay off. If you haven't switched your home and contents insurance in a few years, there's likely a better deal out there. Compare your options and consider switching.
  • Secure your home. If you install measures to deter burglars, such as security screens or an alarm system, insurers may reward you with cheaper premiums.

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For further information

Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About Finder

Every month 2.6 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by three Australians: Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now have offices in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and the Philippines. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

12.6 million average unique monthly audience (June- September 2019), Nielsen Digital Panel

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