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Wildfires are a serious and growing threat throughout much of California, leaving entire regions of the state devastated each year. Wildfire insurance generally provides protection against this risk.
Wildfire insurance is highly specialized property insurance for protection against wildfires. While the exact protection that a policy offers can vary, the insurance usually provides coverage when few other policies will.
Many properties in California are exposed to wildfire risk, and most properties that are exposed ought to be insured with this type of coverage. This includes buildings in high-risk and low-risk areas, as well as residential, multifamily, commercial and industrial buildings. Sometimes it’s even advisable to get coverage for undeveloped land.
As a result, many property owners in the state should consider purchasing wildfire coverage. Individuals who have primary or secondary homes ought to explore policy options, and so should businesses with buildings or land.
Homeowners insurance policies generally provide fire coverage as one of their fundamental protections, but this coverage is normally limited to certain fires that start within a home. If burning cooking oil or an electrical short causes a house fire, for example, the fire will likely be covered by a homeowners policy.
Wildfires aren’t started in homes, though, and they usually aren’t covered by homeowners insurance. Instead, fire coverage is normally needed to protect against wildfire risk.
The same is broadly true for commercial building insurance. While the insurance typically covers certain structural fires, wildfires usually are excluded. Many businesses should insure their buildings with supplemental wildfire coverage for this reason.
Insurance companies are not renewing homeowners insurance policies in record numbers. There were as many as 350,000 policies not renewed, and these were largely due to wildfire risks.
Homeowners whose insurance policies aren’t renewed should seek the advice of a knowledgeable insurance agent. An agent who knows wildfire coverage well will have the expertise necessary to find an alternative solution. The agent will likely be able to recommend one or more other policies that insurance companies will underwrite.
To ensure continuity of coverage, homeowners should begin the process of searching for another policy as soon as they’re notified of non-renewal. It’s better to contact an insurance agent sooner rather than later.
Premiums for some wildfire policies have increased by 400 percent in recent years. Although these rate hikes aren’t uniform across all policies, coverage for wildfires can be expensive. Ultimately, premiums vary greatly across policies. A property’s location, size, value and other details can all affect cost.
One of the best ways to find affordable wildfire coverage is by comparing policy options with an independent insurance agent who specializes in this coverage. An agent who’s familiar with wildfire coverage will know how to check a property’s location for risk level, and they’ll also know what level of coverage is most appropriate. Someone who’s independent can explore policy options from multiple insurance companies to find the most affordable policy that provides all necessary protections.
For help insuring properties in California against wildfires, contact the team of independent insurance agents at Crusberg Fuller. Our agents will work closely with you to assess risk, and then we’ll offer whatever wildfire insurance options are available. With our expertise, you can be confident in selecting the bes policy from among the ones that are available.
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