Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Wildfire Damage?

November 2, 2020

If you have a standard home insurance policy, you may already be covered for wildfire damage. However, there may be gaps in your home insurance coverage that should be supplemented with additional insurance if you live in an area that is at high risk for wildfires.

For example, home insurance will typically cover wildfire damage to your home, your land, and your personal belongings. If you want to also protect your car, you should purchase auto insurance as well to cover any physical damage caused by a wildfire.

Pricing and coverage will vary depending on where you live in California, so it is important to discuss insurance coverage with your carrier to ensure you are covered in the event of a wildfire.

How can insurance coverage help in the event of a wildfire?

If you have home insurance, then many of the losses you experience after w wildfire may be covered. Standard policies will cover damage caused by fire and smoke, which includes wildfire damage. 

Here are just several types of coverage your home insurance policy may cover:

Dwelling Coverage: Dwelling coverage protects your home and any attached structures, like a garage or deck. If your home is damaged or destroyed by a California wildfire, dwelling courage may help pay for repairs or the cost of rebuilding your home.

Personal Property Coverage: Personal belongings may also be covered under a standard home insurance policy. Personal property includes things such as your furniture, clothing, electronics, jewelry, cookware, and other household items. However, your policy may have a specific dollar limit. It is important to take stock of your personal property to ensure that your policy limits are sufficient to compensate you for the full extent of your losses.

In the event that novelty items, memorabilia, and other collectibles are damaged, it may be difficult to place a dollar amount on the loss. That is where hiring an experienced wildfire attorney to help determine the true extent of your losses can be helpful.

Landscaping Coverage: Home insurance may also provide coverage for your land, including plants, shrubs, trees, and other vegetation. For example, the loss of a mature palm tree could be reimbursed by your insurance carrier depending on the scope of your coverage. If you have invested in your landscape, then it may be time to review the limits of your coverage to confirm that your landscaping is protected in the event of a wildfire.

Living Expenses: If your home becomes uninhabitable because it was damaged by a wildfire, then you may be able to recover the cost of reasonable living expenses. This may include renting a home while yours is being repaired, purchasing new clothes, buying groceries, and other reasonable expenses.

How can you keep track of your wildfire losses?

Taking a home inventory of all of your personal belongings is a good first step toward tracking your losses in the event of a wildfire. This inventory should track the value of everything you own, including photos, receipts, and any other information that may be helpful in determining the value of your belongings. For items such as sports memorabilia, photographs and certificates of authenticity can help insurance companies determine the true value of those items.

If you do not have a wildfire inventory already, you can download one from our website by CLICKING THIS LINK.

Do I need to hire a California wildfire attorney?

If your home has been damaged by a wildfire, your home insurance coverage will be helpful in recovering what was lost. However, insurance companies often seek to minimize the value of claims, and will often look for ways to limit their liability. A wildfire attorney can review the terms of your insurance coverage and help you determine the true extent of your losses, allowing you to make a full financial recovery.

In other situations in which a corporate entity is responsible for a wildfire, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses from them as well. If your home was destroyed by a wildfire caused by PG&E, for example, a wildfire attorney could help you seek compensation from those responsible for your losses.

If you have questions about wildfire damage to your home, we encourage you to contact our office today, We offer free, no-obligation consultations and represent clients on a contingency fee basis. Call our office today, or use the form on our website to get in touch.

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