Severe weather in California is unpredictable, and this unpredictability could affect your homeowner’s insurance coverage. A wildfire may increase the cost of your home repairs but also increase the coverage limits. Consider the following steps as you file a wildfire damage claim.
Review your homeowner’s insurance
Review the terms of your homeowner’s insurance policy to understand the amount of coverage that you have for wildfires. You need to know how much coverage is available for the repairs, replacements and temporary living expenses when you file the claim.
Make note of all the exclusions and limitations included in your policy. Most types of wildfires and “unnatural disasters” are covered by insurance, but the insurance company may not be willing to cover homes that are in fire disaster zones. Also note that a widespread natural disaster may cause the rebuilding costs to increase and exceed your coverage limits, making it difficult or impossible to rebuild a home.
Compare repair estimates from several licensed contractors, and compare these costs with your coverage limits. A licensed contractor has the most up-to-date costs for rebuilding a house, but an insurance company is often not up to date on current market prices. After a disaster, there may be a demand surge that increases the pricing of contractors, labor and supplies.
Know the full limits of your coverage
When you first obtain homeowner’s insurance, you believe that you’re covered for all of life’s unexpected events, including wildfires. But special conditions, exclusions and price increases can dramatically alter the extent of your coverage. Be sure you stay in the know about all the changes that could affect your ability to obtain a wildfire damage claim.