Wildfire Risk Is Growing Every Year
With climate change, the risk of wildfires is increasing across nearly the entire United States right now. Some areas of the country — such as the Pacific Northwest, California, and the Southwest — are in even greater danger than the rest of the nation. In 2022, there were tens of thousands of wildfires. And from 2023 onward, it’s estimated that millions of Americans will have to add wildfires to their list of probable hazards.
That’s why it’s vital to have personal wildfire insurance. If your home or belongings were damaged by wildfire and/or smoke, your insurance would pay to replace them. Most folks can’t afford to do this from their own savings, which means a wildfire becomes a life-changing financial catastrophe without insurance. Wildfire coverage often also includes your vehicles and additional living expenses if you cannot live in your home after a fire.
Types of Insurance That Provide Wildfire Coverage
There are several kinds of insurance that usually offer personal wildfire protection as part of a policy:
Each of these is a little different based on the model of property ownership. Wildfire coverage for homeowners typically covers everything, including the structures of the home.
Renters insurance, however, protects your personal belongings inside a residence you rent; the landlord’s insurance covers the dwelling itself. Condo insurance is somewhere in between. It covers all your interior belongings, plus any physical improvements you made to your unit, like upgraded cabinets or flooring. Like renters insurance, it does not cover the entire building you live in, as you don’t own it.
What If You Can’t Find a Policy That Covers Wildfires?
Because of the growing risk of wildfires in the US, some people find it difficult to find homeowner, renters, or condo insurance that includes wildfire protection. If you live in a high-risk area for wildfires, you may have experienced this yourself. Your existing policy may have changed to exclude wildfires, or if you’re shopping for insurance, you could have a hard time finding a policy to begin with.
In that case, you have a few options. Sometimes, you may have to pay higher premiums for a regular policy that does include wildfire coverage. That entails some shopping around to locate a carrier that will cover you.
You can also try looking at what is called the high-risk market, which may overlap with the pricier policies mentioned above. This insurance market caters to people who live in areas more likely to experience wildfires. Premiums are, not surprisingly, a bit higher, but at least you know you’re protected. Most people find this well worth it for the peace of mind it brings.
Finally, if you’ve been turned down by a number of insurance companies, you may have to purchase wildfire insurance through your state’s FAIR (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) plan. This insurance was created both to protect homeowners and renters and to ensure they are able to meet insurance requirements set by mortgage lenders for financing.
In order to qualify for FAIR insurance, you must demonstrate you have been turned down multiple times in the private market. FAIR insurance plans tend to be the most expensive, but it’s a relatively small cost when compared to shouldering the expense of replacing all your personal belongings or rebuilding your home.
Let Our Independent Agents Locate Wildfire Insurance for You
If you’re in a region that’s in greater danger of wildfires, you may have found it arduous to obtain coverage, and all that searching can be time-consuming. Why not let our independent agents do the legwork for you to find personal wildfire insurance that meets your coverage needs and budget?
As independent agents, we have far more options available to us than big companies, including carriers you’ve probably not heard about. We can bring you old-fashioned, personalized service and help with all your insurance needs under one roof.
To inquire about personal wildfire insurance as a homeowner, renter, or condo owner, call Davidson & Associates Insurance at 360-514-9550 today. Or reach out online to start a policy at your convenience to know you’re covered in the event Mother Nature heats up in your area.