As temperatures rise and rainfall becomes more sparse, bushfire seasons have given way to a more consistent threat, experts say.
Australia’s bushfires have caused chaos to land and property, with organisations relying on their business insurance to see them through tough times.
However, recent news of vastly underinsured properties has led wildfires to be an even more devastating reality to business owners, especially with bushfire season becoming a thing of the past, and regular fires a more likely event.
The Climate Council released a report last year showing the increased severity of bushfires year-on-year.
“Over the past year,” the 2013 report stated, “record-breaking temperatures have been experienced across the country. More than 120 weather records were broken last summer, including the hottest summer, the hottest January and the hottest day.”
This year has proved to be even more susceptible, with several dozen regional records broken between May and July.
The three-month period provided both record low rainfalls and the highest temperatures ever seen in various regions, according to research released this month by The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Community Research Centre (BNHCRC).
In case of fire
Bushfires can be a true test to the strength of an insurance policy, particularly in crop and farm insurance, but across any company with assets to lose.
What’s more, the cost of fire damage is already mounting up this year.
“Australia is predicted to experience a trend towards an increasing number of bad fire weather days in its southern and eastern states with fire seasons that begin earlier and last longer than in earlier decades,” the BNHCRC report said.
“As benign fire seasons are predicted to become the exception, the concept of an average or normal fire season becomes less meaningful as historical long-term averages are surpassed by fire seasons that are regularly above average.
“Fire severity across southern Australia has been consistently worse than the long term averages would suggest.
“Such impacts … have created the situation where each fire season is demanding both in economic and human costs.”
To seek advice, and get the best deal for your company’s insurance needs, contact MGA.