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AAMI adds bushfire alerts to mobile app as fire season hits

By  AAMI

AAMI’s Tasmanian customers will get a heads up on dangerous fire activity in their area thanks to the insurer’s new AAMI Access mobile app, which provides severe weather and bushfire alert notifications for their postcode. 

The news comes after fires hit parts of the state earlier this month, the first in what is expected to be a very dangerous bushfire season.

“Mobile alerts are a great tool for giving people a heads up that they’re in danger, and they can save lives,” AAMI spokesperson Reuben Aitchison said.

“But it’s up to those living in fire prone regions to get their bushfire plans and preparation underway as the fire season is already upon us.

“It’s critical that all Tasmanians undertake preparation works now as waiting until fire is bearing down on your property is just too late.”

AAMI has partnered with the country’s leading meteorology specialist, Early Warning Network (EWN), to provide the latest weather data, while the app uses push notification technology to push alerts to customers’ mobile phones to warn them of severe weather or fires.

Mr Aitchison said: “Tasmanians should be under no illusion of the very real bushfire threat facing the state this season. Fires have already scorched parts of Tasmania, threatening homes and life, and we can expect many more in what is predicted to be one of the most severe bushfire seasons on record.”

AAMI research shows that as a direct result of recent bushfires around Australia, only half (52%) of Tasmanians living in an area of risk have done maintenance around the house to prepare for the upcoming bushfire season, with fewer than one in five (17%) preparing a home bushfire survival plan.  

“The research shows that far too many people are playing it fast and loose and it’s simply not enough to ensure your safety.”

“Bushfires are unpredictable and on a hot and windy day can strike anywhere, and suddenly without warning,” Mr Aitchison warned. 

Tasmania Fire Service Chief Officer, Gavin Freeman, said the message he wants to get across to the community is to do bushfire preparation works now, before it’s too late.

“Unfortunately many people have still not prepared their homes or put a bushfire plan in place, despite the many warnings about the increased bushfire danger this summer.”

“If your home is in a bushfire-prone area, you need to develop a bushfire survival plan that will help you and your family make decisions if your home is threatened by fire.

 “Bushfires can spread quickly, and if you find yourself at risk you’ll need to act fast. Having a plan in place and knowing what to do could be the difference between life and death.”

AAMI’s research also revealed that a quarter (24%) of Australians who have had their car or home damaged due to a bushfire or other natural disaster in the past five years did not having adequate insurance to cover the damage.

Mr Aitchison said: “It really is important to add an insurance health check to your bushfire readiness plan, so if you are impacted by a bushfire you can evacuate with the peace of mind that you’re covered if the worst happens.”  

How to prepare your home for bushfire:

  • Remove leaves from the roof, gutters and downpipes and fit quality metal leaf guards where possible.
  • Cut back on any overhanging trees or shrubs
  • Check the condition of external walls or cladding and seal any gaps.
  • If you own a swimming pool or water tank, consider purchasing a portable pump.
  • Consider non-combustible fencing - this is more likely to withstand intense heat.
  • Enclose all under floor areas.
  • Have a non-combustible doormat.
  • Install metal fly-wire or solid screens to external windows and doors.
  • Keep your lawn short and the backyard tidy.
  • Make sure you have a hose that can reach every part of your home.
  • Store woodpiles and other flammable materials covered and away from the house.

About AAMI Access App

The new AAMI Access application, allows AAMI customers to manage their Home and Motor policies and claims in a single app. To receive push notifications, AAMI customers must set up the app with their policies as the app requires postcode details to send relevant weather notification alerts. The free app is available to download now from Apple and Android app stores.

About the research

Newspoll conducted an independent internet survey of 3,283, Australians, 18 years and over, across a full national sample in 2015.  Data was collected in line with ISO 20252 – Market, Social and Opinion Research and has been weighted with current ABS population demographics to ensure any extrapolation of results is representative of age, sex and area.