We are in the height of fire season, and California is experiencing raging fires throughout the state — but none have been as damaging as what is happening in Northern California.
An approximate 11,000 firefighters are working tirelessly to contain 13 wildfires. More than 210,000 acres have burned, and an estimated 7,700 structures destroyed. The death toll has risen to 42 people, thousands of people remain evacuated and fire losses have topped $1 billion.
During these catastrophes – that are sometimes very close to home – we start to, and should, consider our own fire insurance coverage. What will it cover? Do we have enough?
According the LA Times “most homeowners insurance covers both your home and all property within. More than 90% of homeowners buy coverage, according to recent estimates, and as many as 40% of renters purchase insurance for their belongings.”
But it’s important to note, homeowners who live in high-risk areas may pay more and may have fewer choices in insurance companies.
Here’s a quick summary:
· When determining how much fire insurance to purchase, include the value of not just your home, but everything in it…all your furniture, clothing, electronics, etc. Add it all up for an accurate estimate.
· Take lots of photos and videos of everything in the event you need to make a claim. It’s a good idea to store these off-site and/or in the cloud.
· Consider coverage that includes disaster living expenses in case you can’t remain in your home for a long period of time.
Contemplating worst case scenarios is never pleasant, but being proactive is almost always the best and most financially sound way to go.