Wildfires and Homeowners Insurance

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    wildfire protection

    Many of us probably know that wildfires are a regular phenomenon in many parts of the United States and the world in general. However, it is upsetting to know that according to Wildfire Statistics done by Congressional Research Service, the number of fires has not only increased but they also became 30 percent larger in 2018 than the average, making this year far worse than most wildfires in recent memory.

    What is more, the overall trend is especially disturbing in California. In fact, studies show that the six of California’s ten most destructive wildfires on record have hit in just the past three years. In addition to that, the wildfire, which began late last week in Northern California, is also one of the most destructive ones, destroying about 7,100 structures, most of which are homes.

    This number of fires lead to most houses being either damaged or completely destroyed while leaving thousands of people homeless. Fortunately, most of the homeowners’ insurance policies provide coverage against smoke and fire damage, including wildfires like the one in Northern California. Some policies even cover personal possessions lost as well as the cost of temporary housing while your home is being renovated. However, before getting too excited, you should know that there are certain limits on the coverage from policy to policy.

    Here’s how typical homeowners insurance coverages can cover the financial losses you may experience as a result of fire:

    Dwelling Coverage

    This coverage includes the expenses of repairs to the burned away portions of the house, regardless of whether they’re for contractors or plumbers. In case if your house is completely burned, they’ll pay you a lump sum for the home, up to your limits. Dwelling Coverage also covers smoke damage to the house itself.

    Personal property

    It provides coverage for your furniture, clothes and other belongings damaged by a fire. Keep in mind that your policy may have a certain limit when it comes to high-value items such as jewelry. If you have valuable items like that, which you surely want to be covered, then you should consider purchasing additional coverage for them.

    Liability Protection

    While usually, nobody expects to be held liable after an accident at their house, liability coverage may protect and prevent you from paying out of your pocket in case of an unexpected accident. It typically protects against lawsuits and related damages for an isolated fire spreading from your house to a neighbor’s property. Another example can be if someone is hurt or injured by the fire, cased in your home.

    Additional Living Expenses (optional)

    This is an insurance coverage that may come with homeowner, renter insurance, or condo owner insurance policies. It will cover the costs of your usual lifestyle, and compensate you for the additional costs of living elsewhere in case your home is destroyed or completely burned until it is repaired.

    Having smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your house is definitely a smart way to help protect yourself from a fire. However, if a fire damages your home or property, homeowners insurance will help you and your family recover.

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