Bushfires and insurance: Suncorp supports Indigenous fire experts

Back burning in a field.

With more and more extreme weather events happening in Australia, there is a worry that some homes will become uninsurable. In light of this, a number of insurance companies are advocating for actions including disaster mitigation and resilience measures.

Insurance companies advocating for action to mitigate climate change include IAG and Suncorp. Suncorp recently released a Climate Change Action Plan and announced this week that it would be supporting the Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation.

Back burning and insurance 

Since the bushfire crisis in 2019/2020, there has been a growing demand for Indigenous Fire Practitioners to be part of the conversation on how back burning is done in Australia. As part of this, not for profit organisation Firesticks Alliance has become more prominent in the public eye.

Now Suncorp is supporting the NFP’s development of a certification and assessment framework that recognises and enhances Indigenous fire practices across 14 different country types. Suncorp chief executive, Steve Johnston says cultural burning practices will play an important role in protecting communities.

"It’s critical that the deep knowledge and land management techniques of the First Nations people of this continent are better utilised and preserved," he says.

Co-founder of Firesticks Alliance Victor Steffensen says the training is crucial to support our resilience as a nation. 

"It’s about getting people out onto Country and using Good Fire to heal the land," he says. 

Fire prevention is also important to keep insurance premiums down. To expand on that - the more frequent bushfires are in a certain area, the more likely an insurance company is to see that location as a risk. In other words, there is a higher chance residents will need to make a fire claim. 

Higher fire risk could lead to increasingly high insurance premiums. In fact, research Mozo carried out earlier this year found that premiums for residents in northern Australia are already almost double that of the rest of the country. This is most likely due to these areas experiencing more and more extreme weather events in recent years.

Home insurance and fire cover

The good news is that most home insurance policies include fire cover as standard. That said the definition of what exactly fire is can vary from policy to policy. 

It is also worth noting that there is often a 72 hour waiting period for bushfire cover. This means you might not be able to get cover when your home is in imminent danger. How much cover you have will also depend on the individual home insurance plan. 

Underinsurance protection may be offered with some home insurance policies as a safety net against having too little cover. We recommend reading the PDS thoroughly to make sure you are aware of everything a particular policy has to offer. A copy of this document can usually be found on an individual insurance provider’s website.

Finding a home insurance policy

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    Main events covered
    • fire
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    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
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  • Home & Contents Insurance

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    No
    New for old
    replacement
    Replacement icon
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    Go to site
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  • Home & Contents Insurance

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
      Optional Extra
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    Optional ExtraUp To 25% Of Sum Insured
    New for old
    replacement
    Replacement icon
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  • Comprehensive Cover

    Main events covered
    • fire
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    • theft
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    • storm
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    cost extra
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    Underinsurance protection
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    replacement
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    Go to site
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