Dry weather conditions can spell disaster for woodland areas. One spark from a campsite can ignite a wildfire that devastates national lands, residential homes, and buildings. Wildfires can occur anywhere. Recently, the ones in California and Oregon have homeowners asking questions about how wildfire insurance works and what they need to do to file a claim.
Wildfire Insurance Explained
Standard homeowners’ policies commonly cover wildfires. There are many areas of the country where insurance carriers are changing the perils included in basic homeowners’ policies. Because of their prevalence in certain areas, carriers are increasing the amount homeowners pay for their insurance.
What Does Wildfire Insurance Cover?
All homeowners’ policies are not the same. You need to do a thorough review of your policy to go over which perils are covered and which ones aren’t. It’s also a good idea to review your coverage and any caps that may be in place. If you are underinsured, you won’t receive enough of a payout to repair or replace your home.
Replacement Value vs. Extended or Guaranteed Replacement Value
Prices are changing. When inflation is high, it will cost much more to rebuild your home than it did when you purchased your policy. Straight replacement value may cover a portion of the repairs. Still, an extended or guaranteed replacement value policy ensures that all damages will be covered no matter the cost.
Who Can You Trust for Quality Wildfire Insurance?
Wildfire coverage may no longer be included in basic policies in some areas. If you find that your policy no longer has wildfire coverage through your carrier, you may be able to get affordable coverage through state-mandated programs. You can also appeal a decision by your carrier to deny your renewal based on a previous wildfire claim.
Can My Wildfire Claim Be Denied?
Claims can be denied for several reasons. Claims should be filed within 15 days of the event. Those filed outside of that time window may be denied. Claims may also be denied if the insurance carrier believes that the damage is not sufficient for the amount that is being requested. If your policy is in good standing and your claim has been denied, you may be able to file an appeal.
Can I Claim Smoke Damage?
Smoke may not cause the same type of damage as a fire, but it is still damage. Smoke, ash, and soot can affect homes up to ten miles away from the hot zone. It can cause discoloration and odors that do not easily go away. Professionally cleaning may be required to restore your property to its prior condition.
Wildfire insurance is good to have when you live in areas with high risk for that type of event. Contact us at Aimpro today if you have questions. We know how confusing insurance can be. We can eliminate the confusion by answering your questions and ensuring you have all the information you need before buying your policy.