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Tips about California wildfires and insurance

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2022 | Fires/Floods, Insurance Law

Whether you own a home or a business, California wildfires may cause a devastating loss. Unlike other types of natural disasters, wildfires typically result in the total destruction of property. In order to protect your investment in your home or business, you need to make sure that your insurance will cover wildfires.

Homeowners insurance

Many homeowners insurance policies in California do cover wildfire damage. These homeowners insurance policies often do not treat wildfires differently than they treat other types of fires that can affect your home.

Major exceptions to the homeowners policies include:

• If you live in a high-risk area, your policy may not offer enough insurance coverage.

• If your area previously experienced catastrophic wildfires, your insurance company may not renew your policy.

• Your policy may not provide enough coverage to completely replace all of your structures.

Risk mitigation strategies

Many insurance companies want to see proof that you have completed risk mitigation strategies before they will cover business and home fires. Good strategies incorporate the following steps:

• Carefully removing unnecessary vegetation

• Existence of reliable nearby water supply

• Creating buildings with non-combustible materials

• Routine cleaning of yard waste

Dwelling vs. other structures coverage

If you need to replace your entire physical home, you need to obtain dwelling insurance. While dwelling insurance covers any building attached to your home, it does not affect other buildings you may keep on the property.

For these types of properties, you will need other structures coverage:

• Sheds

• Fencing

• Pool houses

• Detached garages

Loss-of-use coverage

Since wildfires can result in devastating losses, you may need to stay in hotels and purchase meals. Loss-of-use coverage will pay for your accommodations during the rebuilding of your home.

Be familiar with your policy

Every business and home insurance policy offers specific coverage. Being familiar with your policy allows you to know what gaps exist long before wildfire season.