Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Residential -

RE­CENT bush­fires in Esper­ance and Perth’s east­ern sub­urbs have high­lighted the need for home own­ers to ad­e­quately in­sure their prop­er­ties, says O'Rourke Realty in­vest­ments prin­ci­pal Rory O'Rourke.

He said an Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion (ASIC) re­port con­tained sur­veys find­ing be­tween 27 per cent and 81 per cent of home own­ers were un­der in­sured by 10 per cent or more.

It also high­lighted re­search which re­vealed 24 per cent of con­sumers did not in­crease their in­sur­ance fol­low­ing ren­o­va­tions cost­ing be­tween $20,000 and $60,000.

Mr O’Rourke said many peo­ple un­der­es­ti­mated the cost of re­pair­ing or re­build­ing their homes be­cause con­struc­tion costs had risen sharply over the past decade.

“For most peo­ple, their res­i­den­tial home is their big­gest fi­nan­cial as­set and in­sur- ance is crit­i­cal, es­pe­cially for those who may own sev­eral prop­er­ties such as in­vestors,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“Whether it is the threat of bush fires, storm dam­age or ac­ci­den­tal fires in the home, property own­ers should check that they have ad­e­quate in­sur­ance cover.

“The dan­ger of un­der in­sur­ance is par­tic­u­larly high for first-home buy­ers, who have lit­tle eq­uity in their homes and may try to save funds by lim­it­ing their level of in­sur­ance. It is a trau­matic enough ex­pe­ri­ence to have your home de­stroyed by a fire or storm. It is even more trau­matic if you don’t have the nec­es­sary funds to re­build the property due to lack of in­sur­ance.”

Mr O’Rourke said a leaflet at the In­sur­ance Coun­cil of Aus­tralia web­site pro­vided tips. It can be down­loaded at http://

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