Under-insurance of homes a lesson from bushfires, disaster recovery chief warns Tasmanians

Under-insurance of homes a lesson from bushfires, disaster recovery chief warns Tasmanians

08 October 2013

published by www.heraldsun.com.au

Australia — MANY households are under-insured ahead of the looming bushfire season, the official in charge of handing out Tasmania’s bushfire disaster recovery money has warned.

Tasmanian Bushfire Appeal Distribution Committee chief Pat Leary said one of the lessons drawn from last summer’s fires was that many people lacked enough insurance.

“It’s become pretty obvious that we’re possibly all under-insured,” she said.

Ms Leary said January’s blazes brought home the need for adequate insurance and for a bushfire plan.

“We just need to come to terms with the fact these things happen,” she said.

“We have no control over them and we need to be as prepared as we can.”

Another $1.4 million raised during the Tasmanian Bushfire Appeal is being distributed to victims of last year’s fires.

“This round of financial assistance will help ease the burden for those who continue to face financial struggles after the bushfires.

“While there’s been much activity in terms of rebuilding and revitalising, it’s a simple truth that the impact of the fires is still being felt.

“I’m sure that this assistance will be greatly appreciated by those in the community who need an extra helping hand, and thank everyone within Tasmania and further afield who so kindly donated to this appeal.”

The formula for assistance developed by the distribution committee aims to provide help where it’s needed most to those suffering hardship and with the least capacity to recover unassisted.

Factors such as the extent of loss, age, family size and assets are taken into account in assessing this capacity.

“This means that not everyone who applied for ongoing financial assistance will receive support under this distribution,” Ms Leary said.

The Tasmanian Bushfire Appeal raised $8.7 million and $500,000 has been set aside as a reserve to meet longer-term needs in bushfire-affected communities.

Applicants will receive letters from the committee from today.

For further information about Stage 4 assistance, visit the Bushfire Recovery Unit website www.bushfirerecovery.tas.gov.au, call the unit on 1800 567 567 or visit the Information and Service Hub at Dunalley.

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