Review Your Insurance Coverage. Make sure you have the right type – and amount – of property insurance.
“With most of the
The best place to start the review process is by reading the declarations page (https://www.iii.org/article/understanding-your-insurance-deductibles) of an insurance policy. It offers details on how much coverage you have, your deductibles, and how a claim will be paid.
Damage caused by fire and smoke is covered under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. A standard homeowners insurance policy covers wildfire-caused property damage to a home’s structure and its outbuildings (e.g., garage) as well as the personal belongings housed on the premises. A renter’s insurance policy covers the renter’s personal belongings. Water damage caused by firefighters extinguishing a fire is covered under both homeowners and renters insurance policies.
Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies also provide additional living expenses (ALE), sometimes referred to as loss of use, to policyholders who either relocated because of a mandatory evacuation order or had their residence rendered uninhabitable due to wildfire-related damage.
In addition, the
Protect Your Vehicles. Comprehensive auto, which is an optional coverage, protects your vehicle against damage caused by an incident other than a collision, including fire, flood, theft, vandalism, hail, falling rocks or trees, and other hazards. Nearly 80 percent of
Make Sure Your Possessions are Adequately Protected. Residents need to assess the out-of-pocket cost of repurchasing their damaged furniture, electronics, clothing, and other personal possessions after a wildfire. Whether you have homeowners insurance, condo insurance or renters insurance, your policy provides protection against loss or damage to personal property due to a wildfire.
Creating an inventory of your belongings and their value will make it easier to determine if you are sufficiently insured for either the replacement cost or the actual cash value of the items situated at your residence. When you create a photo or video of your home’s possessions, it expedites the insurance claims process if you sustain damage from a wildfire.
Make Your Property More Resilient. Invest in items that will harden your property using the Insurance Institute For Business and Safety (IBHS) wildfire ready guide to make your home resistant to wildfire, such as vents, roofs and windows.
Research shows risks can be lessened when residents invest time in preparing their homes and landscaping to reduce the damage caused by embers during a wildfire. Projects can range from a short time commitment up to those requiring an entire day and include:
* Raking and removing pine needles and dry leaves within a minimum of three to five feet of a home’s foundation, continuing up to a 30-foot distance around the home, and disposing of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles
* Clearing roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris, and pine needles that could catch embers
* Collecting downed tree limbs and broken branches and taking them to a disposal site
* Screening or boxing-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating