With above-normal fire conditions predicted across the Albany region, Risk Specialist Max Brown from specialist farm insurer Achmea, encourages farmers to take action and prepare their properties now to reduce the risk of underinsurance. According to the latest Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook, the 2019-20 fire season for the Albany region has the potential to be an active one due to rainfall deficiencies and warmer than average conditions.
After devastating fires tore through the region last year, Ms Brown said the Outlook served as a timely reminder to farmers in the area to be prepared. In May 2018, more than 30 fires destroyed over 21,000 hectares in the Albany district, which included the loss of two homes, farm sheds and equipment, crops and livestock.
“The devastation caused by fire certainly guides me in what I do today as an Achmea Risk Specialist, to help protect and build community resilience,” Ms Brown said. While rare, Ms Brown said events such as last year’s destructive fires were precisely why farmers should be getting insurers out on their properties and review assets and risk mitigation strategies.
“The bushfire season in the Albany region is predicted to be much worse than normal, and preparedness for the unexpected is critical,” Ms Brown said. “In our experience, if a farmer’s cover has not been updated for several years, it most likely does not reflect the accurate value of their most important assets. This means some farmers may be underinsured as the risk of bushfires intensifies.
“The cover a farmer in WA had five or even just two years ago most likely needs to be reviewed and updated to reflect current values year on year.” As outlined in the Outlook, most areas of the south west of WA have experienced the driest start to the year on record, followed by the seventh-driest autumn. Dry and warmer than average conditions are forecast to continue, contributing to an above normal fire potential, so farmers need to be prepared.
“The impact of a loss can be wide-reaching, and it’s not limited to loss of income alone,” Ms Brown said.
“Not only does underinsurance have potential negative impacts on individuals, their farming businesses and families, widespread underinsurance in our region can significantly affect our economic resilience.”
For an on-farm review of your insurance, contact Achmea Risk Specialist Max Brown today.