Since 2017, insurance companies have paid over $24 billion to cover losses due to damages from wildfires in California. And with wildfires on track to become even worse over the next decade, insurance companies are pulling fire coverage from high-risk areas.
This is having a massive impact on homeowners. Thousands of individuals and families are now unable to afford their homeowner’s insurance premiums. Realtors are frustrated with trying to sell houses in a market where homeowner’s insurance is either unavailable or too expensive.
Even though some are losing coverage every day, there are still homes that are insured in case of a fire. For these individuals, it is important to be prepared and ready for a worst-case scenario. Additionally, by following basic insurance claim tips for fire damage, getting reimbursed for damages due to fire shouldn’t be a problem.
Housing Prices and Insurance Costs on the Rise
Due to a record-breaking number of homes destroyed in California’s fires in recent years, insurers are rethinking their fire-protection services. Especially in high-risk areas, such as rural communities close to forests, homeowner’s insurance premiums keep growing.
Some companies have even stopped selling fire protection in these areas entirely – putting thousands at risk of losing everything.
However, many families are still flocking to rural areas from the cities in search of a less-expensive lifestyle. However, obtaining adequate homeowner’s insurance is becoming a huge barrier for buyers looking to relocate.
Many realtors are also struggling to sell homes in these areas. Several have openly admitted that deals fall through daily due to insurance costs. After potential buyers find out the price of insurance, they typically either back away from their offer or lower their bid. This has resulted in a surplus of empty housing, despite a high demand.
Tips for Filing an Insurance Claims due to Fire Damage
Some people can still afford to pay for homeowner’s insurance with fire protection. However, they are still at risk of insurance companies refusing their claims in the case of a fire. In order to ensure a fair payout, here are some insurance claim tips for fire damage.
For starters, it is always best to have a well organized list of everything you own and its market value. This list should not be written on a piece of paper, but should rather be kept in an online journal or saved to your email. By keeping a list of everything ahead of time, it will help you reconcile your possessions in case of a fire.
Additionally, make sure to save all relevant emails, receipts, and letters with the insurance company. You should always know the terms of your policy, and make sure that you can easily access correspondence records with the insurance company.
If you are going through the claims process, make sure to keep a detailed list of all meetings, phone calls, and emails with your insurance agent. This will reduce confusion with the insurance company and ensure that everyone is on the same page in case of a dispute.
Additionally, in the event of a fire, make sure to always protect your home from the elements and looters. You are required by your insurance company to ‘take reasonable care of your property’. That means making sure to cover holes in both the roof and walls. You should board up all doors and windows, and also put up a fence if necessary to keep people out.
For undamaged property, make sure to move it to a safe place so that it does not get further damaged.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.