Wildfires Are Growing, Is This The Insurance You Need?

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Your current homeowner’s policy may not provide enough protection.


Key points

  • As of August 14, there have been 56 wildfires in the US this year.
  • Fire insurance covers property damage and other damage caused by fire.
  • Homeowner’s insurance usually includes fire insurance, but you may need additional coverage if you live in an area prone to wildfires.

If it seems like you’re seeing a lot of news about wildfires, there’s a reason. Wildfires on the rise in 2022. As of August 14, there have been 56 large fires in the US this year, burning more than 1.4 million acres. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the current numbers are higher than the 10-year average for the entire country. The total number of wildfires in the US in 2022 is at 42,104, burning 5.9 million acres.

Homeowners and renters insurance often includes fire protection. But does standard insurance cover wildfire damage? The answer may depend on where you live and the local risk of wildfires. Understanding fire insurance and what it covers will help you determine if you need additional coverage to protect your home.

What is fire insurance?

Fire insurance is a type of insurance that covers damage to your home and other property due to fire. Standard homeowner’s insurance includes fire insurance. In some cases, you may want or need to purchase additional fire insurance, especially if you live in a high-risk area or your laws do not exclude protection against wildfires.

What does fire insurance cover?

Fire insurance can vary, but generally it covers any cost of a fire on your property, including damage to your home and the contents of your home. Policies often include expenses, such as food and lodging, if you have to leave the home while it is being repaired. Depending on your policy, fire insurance may extend to items on your property, such as a garage or an enclosed garage.

Motor insurance pays nothing. It does not cover fire damage if the property is unoccupied for more than 30 days or is burned. Other restrictions may apply depending on the policy.

How does it work with homeowners or renters insurance?

A standard homeowner’s policy often includes coverage for damages and losses caused by fire. You have to understand that it will not affect anything, especially if you live in a place where there is a danger of wildfire. It also does not cover damage to vehicles caused by fire, which may fall under your car insurance policy. Check your schedule again to see if there are any leftovers.

If you rent, your homeowner’s insurance should cover the damage to the property. However, it usually does not affect the homeowner’s property. To protect your property from fire damage, you need separate renters insurance.

Do you need motor insurance?

A home is often your most expensive and important investment. Having the right insurance is not only a good idea, but often a necessity, especially if you live in a high-risk area.

Risk assessment firm Verisk analyzed homes in the Western US and identified more than 4.7 million potential homes that are at high risk of fire damage. As you can imagine, states like California, Texas, and Colorado ranked at the top with the most vulnerable homes. These states are known for frequent wildfires. If you live in a high risk area, you may want to consider purchasing additional fire insurance for your home.

It is important to make sure your home is covered against fire damage, whether that coverage is part of your homeowner’s policy or a separate fire insurance policy. You can also protect your home from fire by taking proper precautions such as installing smoke detectors, purchasing a fire extinguisher, and keeping at least 30 yards around your home free of flammable vegetation.

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