Wildfire Coverage in Home Insurance
If you live in an area vulnerable to wildfire season and manage to get a standard homeowners insurance policy, your home and belongings will both have fire protection, as long as your policy doesn’t specifically exclude fire. Standard policies from insurance providers cover fire damage in the following ways.
Dwelling coverage: This part of your insurance will pay for the cost of repairs and construction if your home is damaged by a fire. Make sure the dwelling coverage limit equals whatever it would cost to rebuild your home and any structures attached to it, considering the current costs of construction and labor. Natural disasters cause the demand for construction and labor to go up, which increases the cost of those services, but you can get endorsements to help cover future cost spikes. An extended replacement cost endorsement, for example, extends your dwelling limit coverage by an extra 25–50 percent.
Other structures coverage: This part of your policy covers structures that aren’t attached to your house. That could include a detached garage, a shed, or even your fences. Your other structures limit is usually about 10 percent of your dwelling coverage, but your insurance broker may let you increase it if you think there’s a need.
Personal property coverage: This covers your personal belongings, including furniture, clothes, and jewelry, up to a certain limit. The limit is usually half of your dwelling coverage limit, but some insurance carriers will let you increase it to 75 percent.
Loss of use: If you have to evacuate your home and stay somewhere else while the structure is being repaired or rebuilt, loss of use coverage reimburses you for the additional expenses of living away from your home. Make sure you keep all your receipts for when you file a claim with your insurer.
Landscaping: Some homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for plants, trees, or lawns damaged by covered perils, including fire. Check your policy to see if you have landscaping coverage.