Insurers reject high-risk homes

Two of Australia's largest insurers are refusing to offer home insurance to people living in bushfire-prone parts of Victoria and the ACT. AAMI and Australian Unity have suspended applications from people wanting new policies.

However other insurers including Suncorp Metway, Insurance Australia Group and RACV say they won't join the temporary ban on new policies in fire-affected areas.

All companies have experienced a marked rise in enquiries during the recent bushfire period. AAMI says it won't accept policy applications until the fire threat subsides with Australian Unity making a similar decision but restricting its suspension to applicants in the ACT. The Insurance Council of Australia says it's up to individual insurers to decide whether they cover people living in high-risk areas. ICA's PR manager said the recent spate of fires were a “stark reminder” of the need for insurance.