Forest fire: an underestimated danger, also in Austria
A discarded cigarette, a poorly extinguished fire, a lightning strike, often even a shard of glass is enough to start a forest fire. Especially when it is as hot as it is this year, the forests are dry and therefore particularly easy to ignite.
Forest fires are not uncommon in Austria either. They can spread very quickly and become a great danger for people and animals. The risk of fires could increase as a result of global warming. More and more often there are long dry phases in spring as well as in summer, which favor forest fires in Lower Austria, Carinthia and Tyrol.
Preventing a forest fire is very difficult or even impossible. However, it is possible to insure commercial forests against this with forest fire insurance.
Did you know that?
About 85 percent of forest fires are directly or indirectly caused by humans? ×
What dimensions a forest fire can take on could be seen in one of the largest fires in Carinthia in April 2015 on the Goriacher Alm. About 75 hectares of forest were on fire. Seven helicopters and countless firefighters were deployed for days, sometimes having to flee from the 80-meter-high flames.
Is your forest in danger?
How high the probability is that a fire will break out in your forest, too, you can see on the homepage of the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics. The current risk for forest fires can be seen here. Using data such as air temperature, humidity, wind speed and precipitation rate, the probability of a fire in your forest is calculated.
Not all forests are the same
There are several types of forests, which differ in their use, composition and utilization.
- Commercial forest (high forest and high forest parts of medium forests)
This forest is planted purely for the timber yield. It is regularly and sustainably managed.
In coppice forests you can find trees such as oaks, hornbeams, lime trees, maples, ashes or hazels. So trees and shrubs that grow back after being cut down. It is used to produce firewood.
Ban forests have a protective function. Protect people, settlements and facilities from avalanches, rockfall and other dangers. Bannwalder are forests with partially restricted usability.
- Protective forest
As the name suggests, a protective forest protects the ground from erosive forces such as wind or water. It prevents bottoms from slipping or karsts from forming. In the case of protection forests, management is possible with restrictions. But there are also protection forests, where an economic use is not possible because of the extreme location.
The forest fire insurance
There is a very good way to insure his woods against fire and therefore against financial loss. The good news is that insurance against forest fires is very affordable.
What can be insured?
Damage caused by fire, lightning strikes, explosions, damage or destruction by air or water. spacecraft, their parts or. their cargo, can be insured. ×
The sum insured must be adjusted to the value of the forest.
- The above-ground growing forest stand (high forest and high forest parts of middle forests)
- felled timber at the extraction site, in storage yards and in transit, provided the policyholder still owns the timber.
- Crop initial establishment costs up to 10% of the agreed hectare maximum liability amount
- various additional coverages, depending on the insurer
Determine the right amount of insurance
Not only is the right insurance coverage a prerequisite for a hassle-free claims process, but the right amount of insurance is also critical for proper financial settlement after a wildfire.
The sum insured is calculated per hectare of forest. Whereby there are still differences in the compensation. Forest fire insurance is also one of the few lines of insurance that receives a federal subsidy of approximately 25%. (Does not apply to all policyholders)
15 hectares of forest property in revenue with a sum insured of 35.000 euros per hectare costs between 32 euros and 40 euros per year. ×
Interest in a suitable forest fire insurance?
We’re happy to help you create a forest fire insurance policy that’s right for you!
Just give us a call, we look forward to a free initial consultation!