The wildfires ravaging through California serve as indicators of how fires can be unpredictable just as tornados or earthquakes: Giving no warning and spreading very quickly. Statistics indicate that wildfires annually destroy over 2,500 homes in the U.S. The leading cause of these wildfires has been said to be humans. Humans caused approximately 85% of the fires in U.S. between2000 to 2017, usually through careless activities including burning debris, unattended campfires, discarding cigarettes and misusing equipment among others. Natural causes such as thunderstorms and lightning have also triggered wildfires.With the fires razing California, one might be wondering how home insurance comes in and whether it protects one’s property and finances in the face of such havoc.
Does Homeowners Insurance cover wildfire?
Usually, a homeowner’s insurance policy covers fire damage, including wildfires. If at any time fire ravages your home, then various types of covers can help, rebuild or repair the cracks. One can also get belongings, such as their furniture replaced.
In this type of coverage, a homeowner is paid to replace or rebuild their home’s physical structure and any attached structure such as a garage or a deck. The policy covers up tocertain limits which depend on the amount that rebuilding a whole house would cost. This is also dependent on local labour cost and materials. It is essential to continually review your homeowner’s insurance to ensure it is up to pace with your home’s coverage and the changing prices.
Other structures refer to the things that are not connected to your house; this may include a detached fence, shed or garage. This type of coverage is often dependent on a percentage of your home’s coverage. For instance, if your other structures coverage is set at 10% of the coverage of your home and you’ve got $250,000 homes coverage, your limit of other structures would be $25,000. If you later add any structures such as a gazebo or in-ground pool, then ensure that you also review your policy. Ask your insurance agent if you are needed to buy extra coverage.
Your possessions, including kitchen appliance, furniture, clothes and electronics, are all under this cover. The limits of this policy are 50% to 70-% of the coverage of your home. Thus if you have a $250,000 in the coverage of your home a 50% personal property coverage would imply that you have $125,000 for your belongings covered. Making a home inventory is one of the best ways which one can use to determine if they have enough personal property coverage. Make a list of all of your belongings and the replacement cost if a fire destroyed your home. If the limit of your current home insurance is to low, you can always consider buying more personal property coverage.
Trees, plants, lawns and shrubs.
Typically home insurance policy covers items such as shrubs, plants, trees and lawns up to a particular percentage of your home’s coverage. 20% coverage would imply, $50,000 to replace these items if your coverage is at $250,000 home’s coverage.
Additional living expenses.
If the damage that wildfire caused on your home is making it unhabitable, then additional living expenses cover comes into play. Additional living expenses pay for expenses such as restaurant bills, hotel stay among other costs which include laundry services and pet boarding fees. Claims on this coverage canalso be made on circumstances such as if local authorities need one to evacuate, even when the fire never reached your house.
Points to note whenliving in areas with wildfire
While homeowners insurance covers wildfires, it is essential to note that if you live in a geographical area prone to wildfires, one might have a hardtime finding homeowners insurance at affordable costs. Insurance companies tend to increase deductibles, charge high premiums, cap payouts and in some cases, for example, in homes in high-risk areas such as parts of California decline to write insurance policies. If you get a hard time getting the right coverage, you should always consider shopping around. Not all insurance offering the same coverage types charge identical rates. Ensure you engage with independent insurance agents who are familiar with the insurance companies in the region. Home insurance reviewssuch as Online U.S. Reviews will also help you find reputable insurance companies. You can also look out for covers offered by Lemonade.
In conclusion, while forest fires such as those ravaging California may prove troublesome especially if you own a home in the area, you need not worry as home insurance covers wildfire damages. If you may find it hard for insurance companies to protect your home, due to factors such as its geographical location, always shop for other insurance companies, and you’ll always get one.