Get bushfire ready
Be bushfire prepared in five smart steps
We understand the dangers of bushfire season but unfortunately people often leave it too late to make critical decisions.
Reducing risks, taking action to protect your home and family (including holiday homes) and keeping your insurance policy up-to-date can help you be 'bushfire prepared', and often makes all the difference. If you need to update your insurance just visit your account anytime.
Step 1. Get to know your environment
Bushfires can happen at any time but you must be extra alert during warmer weather, especially if you're away on holidays. Fires can also jump gaps like roads, rivers and firebreaks, so your wider environment is also a potential hazard. Embers can travel many kilometres ahead of a fire, so even if you're not directly threatened by a bushfire, you may be impacted by embers.
Insurance tip: Check your rebuild costs
Following the 2009 Victorian bushfires, the Australian Building Codes Board adopted a national bushfire standard for residential buildings. These standards are designed to make your home safer and apply if you renovate or rebuild your home.
The standard sets out the building requirements for house design and construction according to the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) that a development falls into. Building requirements vary according to their BAL but the majority of buildings in bushfire zones pre-date current regulations. This means it could cost significantly more to re-build your home under the new standards. Visit the Australian Standards to find out more.
Calculate your cost to rebuild
Our Home Buildings calculator can help to identify the cost to re-build your home.
If you're in NSW or ACT, you can also find out the unique set of potential risks for your area at our Safer Homes website.
For extra peace of mind, you could consider our Home Plus cover which provides a safety net of up to 25% in case you need it, to rebuild your home or replace your general contents.
Step 2. Prepare your home
There are plenty of ways to prepare your home to limit damage during a bushfire event:
- Install metal gutter guards
- Install fine metal mesh screens on windows and doors
- Fit seals around doors and windows to eliminate gaps
- Attach a fire sprinkler system to gutters
- Enclose the areas under your house
- Have hoses long enough to reach around your house
- Ensure your fireplace chimney is clean
- Have an electrical safety switch and only use recommended rating fuses
- Have a non-combustible doormat
- Check the condition of external walls and cladding and seal any gaps
- Remove and store flammable items (including wood piles) well away from your house
- Keep mulch away from the house and grass short
- Make sure that pressure relief valves on LPG cylinders face away from your house
Insurance tip: Have you considered bushfire clean up costs?
In the aftermath of a bushfire there can be a lot of hazardous materials surrounding your home. Our Home Buildings policy automatically includes cover for ‘removal of debris’, so we can organise and pay for cleaning up, securing your home, and removing any toxic and flammable debris such as chemicals, metals and asbestos.
Check out our Home Insurance to find the best policy for you.
Step 3. Have a bushfire survival plan
If you live (or regularly holiday) near bushland or your area has a history of bushfires, creating a 'Bushfire Survival Plan' means you know exactly what to do the minute there's a bushfire warning. Your plan should be updated annually, but there are things you should do right now:
- Understand the risk of bushfire in your area including 'Fire Danger Ratings'. Find out more from your local fire authority
- Know how to prepare your property, pets and livestock
- Know where your community safe places are
- Have a back-up plan
- Create an easily accessible survival kit
For more advice on creating your own Bushfire Survival Plan, visit:
- NSW Rural Fire Services Bushfire Survival Guide
- ACT Emergency Services Agency
- QLD Fire and Emergency Service Bushfire Survival Plan
- Tasmanian Fire Service Bushfire Survival Plan
Insurance tip: Have you included all your personal assets in your insurance policy?
People often forget about items like jewellery, electronic and mobile devices.
- Photograph items and keep receipts where possible
- Have copies of important documents like your birth certificate and title deed to your home and insurance policy
Our Home Contents calculator can help you calculate your contents sum insured.
Step 4. Be community conscious
Working together with your local community can make a huge difference to limiting the devastating consequences of a bushfire. So how can you help?
- If you have a pool, tank or dam, put a Static Water Supply (SWS) sign on your property entrance for firefighters to access water easily
- Connect with your neighbours, keep each other informed on days of increased fire danger and make sure you are aware of each other’s needs and capabilities
Step 5. Keep your insurance up-to-date
Insurance tip: Do you have a 'bushfire prepared' insurance checklist?
- Keep a copy of your insurance policy in a safe and accessible place. Don't know your policy number? Find it here
- Know the rebuild costs of your property. Our online insurance calculator can help determine the right amount to insure for
- Check if you live in a bushfire prone area and if necessary, check your Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) and relevant re-building requirements with your local fire authority or local government body
- Make sure the final amount you decide to cover your home for includes all these costs
To update your policy, please contact us.
We have four types of Home Buildings and Contents Insurance
Combined policy plus a safety net of up to 25% in case you need to rebuild your home or replace your general contents automatic cover for accidental damage and burn out of electric motors, identity theft up to $5,000 and temporary accommodation for up to two years.
This combined policy includes lifetime guarantee for any authorised repair work on your home and temporary accommodation for up to one year.
We'll repair or rebuild your home if it's damaged or destroyed.
We provide new for old replacement of your household contents and personal belongings.
Be bushfire prepared with NRMA Insurance
For more practical information on how to prepare and act when your home is threatened by a bushfire, please contact the fire services authorities in your state or territory:
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
Things you should know
Insurance issued by Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 trading as NRMA Insurance. This is general advice only so to see if a product is right for you, always consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement available from NRMA Insurance.