One wildfire can result in billions of dollars in damages to homes and personal property. In most situations, claims are filed against homeowners insurance policies when wildfire damage occurs. Factors like how the land is being used and changes in the climate play a role in increasing the risk of wildfires throughout the country. It's important for homeowners to know and understand the overall risk of wildfires and how they can protect their homes.
Most homeowners insurance policies include damages covered by most types of fire, including wildfires. Even the more basic policies written to cover homes, personal property, and liability will cover damages that result from being in the path of a wildfire.
Your home and any detached structures located on your property are protected if they are damaged by a wildfire. Detached structures can include sheds, garages, and fences. There are coverage limits for both dwellings (Coverage A) and detached structures (Coverage B). It's essential that you go over your policy with a reputable insurance agent who can make sure you are sufficiently covered.
Your personal property is known as Coverage C and will also cover damages caused by wildfire. Clothing and furniture are covered under your homeowners policy. The Coverage C portion of your policy can be anywhere from 50% to 75% of the total amount of your dwelling coverage. This coverage will also cover a percentage of items that you may have in storage. If you have items that are extremely valuable, you will need to cover them separately.
The expense of having to stay in a hotel can be costly. If you are displaced from your home by a wildfire, your homeowners insurance will provide you with the additional living expenses you need to stay in a hotel or find an apartment with a short-term lease. This also covers groceries, pet boarding, and other expenses that go along with being forced to live away from home.
While a wildfire can occur anywhere in the country, there are areas where they are more prominent. If you live in an area where wildfires occur regularly, you may need to purchase a supplemental policy, just like you would purchase hurricane, flood, or earthquake insurance. In these areas, your regular homeowners insurance may not cover wildfire damage.
There are a few things you can do to prevent damage to your home. While you may not be able to stop a wildfire, you can prevent damage from other types of fires. Simple things like keeping batteries in your smoke alarms and your fire extinguishers fully charged can be quite effective. Installing a sprinkler system is also beneficial. Keep debris out of your gutters and dry brush away from your home. If a wildfire gets close to your home, the last two can be real-life savers.
When you have questions about wildfire damages or other perils, you need to call a reputable agent. Contact the agents at Humble Insurance Group today to find out more about the coverages that protect you from damage caused by wildfires. We have the answers you need!