California Wildfires Continue to Race Across the State, Check Your Policies
According to the Weather Channel, California fire officials have responded to more than 4,800 wildfires so far in the year 2014, which is higher than average. Residents need to be wary of potential fire danger and protect themselves accordingly.
Homeowner policies cover fire damage to the structure, contents and provide for additional living expense benefits if the policyholder has to move out. Clearing brush away from the house or even changing the type of roofing found on the home will reduce the risk of an advancing fire. With a homeowner’s insurance policy in place, residents can be well prepared for the threat of wildfires.
There are currently three different wildfires raging across California: “The largest of the three fires, the King Fire, has yet to claim any homes or structures, but is a major threat to hundreds of homes in El Dorado County to the east of Sacramento, California. An estimated 2,500 firefighters were trying to stop the explosive growth of the fire well into the evening hours on Tuesday, USA Today Reports.* The fire threatened to jump across Highway 50, and if it were to do so, would put more than 1,600 homes on the other side of the highway in the path of the flames,” (California Wildfires Update: The Weather Channel, September 17, 2014). *Read More
“Not only have Californians had to deal with earthquakes but they are experiencing wildfires at their worst,” comments Frank N. Darras, America’s top disability insurance lawyer. “California residents need to be prepared to handle more than their fair share of natural disasters. Thankfully, most homeowner’s insurance policies cover fire damage so residents shouldn’t have to worry. Everyone must double check their own policies, however, to makes sure they are covered for natural disasters wherever they live.”
Not only should policyholders check their limits of homeowner’s insurance for fire damage but they should see if water damage is covered as well. If a resident needs to hose down their home as a wildfire approaches, this could potentially cause unintended damage to the structure or their belongings. Always carefully read through a homeowner’s policy before signing in the event a necessary coverage is not included (Bankrate, Wildfires spark home insurance preconditions , June 25, 2012).
“I always encourage every policyholder to ask questions. If you don’t see something on your policy and you would like to add it, your insurance agent would be more than happy to help. With these wildfires raging through California, I would hope all residents have the right coverage in case the blaze gets too close. These wildfires are a fact of life in California and I don’t want to see anyone fall victim to a poorly written insurance policy,” says Darras.
*Source: USA Today, Calif. Wildfire continues to grow; no structures damaged, September 17, 2014.