Washington is predicted to have a particularly severe wildfire season in 2019. Wildfires are increasing as development pushes further into wilderness areas and wildfire risk pushes into parts of Washington previously assumed to be too wet to be at risk.
Here are some tips to make sure your insurance coverage is ready for wildfire season:
- Read your policy and confirm it covers wildfire damage. Most homeowner’s insurance policies traditionally covered fire damage. But some policies exclude wildfire or disaster related losses.
- Confirm your coverage limits are sufficient. If you bought your home many years ago, rising property values and construction costs may render your existing coverage inadequate.
- Make sure your policy covers your entire loss in the event of a wildfire. For instance, confirm your policy will pay your living expenses in the event you need to relocate while your home is rebuilt (known as “Additional Living Expense” coverage).
- Make an inventory of important and valuable contents to make sure the insurer covers the cost to replace these items in the event they are lost in a wildfire.
Finally, be ready to go to bat and make sure you get the coverage you are paying for. . After a big disaster like a wildfire, there are so many claims insurers can’t investigate them all properly, so they just stop trying. Disaster-related insurance claims are notorious for shoddy investigating, unresponsive staff, and overworked, poorly-trained adjusters pressured to cut corners to close out claims fast.