It’s estimated that 4.5 million U.S. homes are at high or extreme risk of wildfire, with over 2 million located in California alone, according to Verisk in their Wildfire Risk Analysis of 2019.
Let us consider how wildfires start in the first place. Human carelessness appears to be the main reason for wildfires as people throw cigarette butts without stubbing them or leave a fire burning after a barbeque or a celebration, with utter disregard for the harm they’re causing. It’s not surprising that the U.S. Department of Interior reports that people cause 90 percent of the wildland fires, and the remaining 10 percent are started by nature in the form of lightning or lava. It is a common belief that those who live inside a forest or near a wildfire-prone area are more likely to suffer from wildfire damage, however, research has refuted this as it was found that embers that are swept along by winds are the real culprits that cause destruction by fire.
A change in climate like warming and drying due to severe droughts are some elements that contribute to wildfire activity. Further, there can be a great danger to lives and homes due to the unchecked development of housing within areas inclined towards wildfires.
Investing in an insurance policy that covers the costs of damages to your property due to fire is one solution to financial recovery. The other is using certain materials that are resistant to fire, in the construction of your home, to keep it from scorching as well as buy a good smoke-alarm system. Also, it is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that keeping a secure space of 5-30 feet around your home can protect it by preventing the spread of wildfire. If you are in an area that is at high risk for wildfire, some insurance companies may be unwilling to insure you – this is part of their risk management strategy. Also, insurance companies check if your home is exposed to a wildfire risk as it may be if it meets certain specifications of fuel, slope, and access.
Standard homeowner’s insurance includes damage to your home and belongings caused by a wildfire. It may include damage caused by fire or smoke to your entire house, landscaping and stuff in the backyard. This coverage also includes your personal belongings and any expenses for living and food, within your policy limits. You can purchase additional fire insurance apart from your homeowner’s policy to cover damages that your standard homeowner’s policy does not.
With 15 percent of properties at risk, California leads in terms of the number of properties – approx 2,019,800 being at risk of being destroyed by a wildfire. A look at the last 5 years’ data reveals the numbers of wildfires in California are increasing, placing life and property at risk.
Dealing with wildfire can be harrowing, on the one hand, you become emotionally helpless, and on the other, you begin to think about how you’ll cope financially. Now begins the cumbersome task of filing a claim and making detailed notes of the parts of your home that have been assaulted by the fire. You need to prepare an inventory of your possessions, including when they were bought and what do they cost now. Apart from these challenges, the difficult part is meeting the insurance adjuster, taking him through each item that needs to be repaired, contacting various third-party contractors, and ensuring that you receive an appropriate settlement from your insurance company. During such times of crisis, you need a Public Adjuster, who has your best interest in mind and can hand-hold you through this process.
At Experienced Public Adjusters, you will find experienced professionals who work exclusively for you, collecting evidence, preparing your claim, and negotiating the maximum amount of settlement so that you don’t have to run around.
Contact Experienced Public Adjusters if you need to file a wildfire damage insurance claim.