The summer months bring news of disastrous wildfires and all of the anxiety and stress that go along with them. If you live in a high-risk area, you may be especially concerned. Are your home, business, and other possessions covered by insurance should a wildfire occur in your area? The answer depends on the type of coverage you have and where you live. Learn more.
Does Insurance Cover Wildfires? It Depends.
Depending on where you live, your standard homeowner's insurance policy will most likely cover damage caused by fire and smoke, including wildfires. This coverage can help you rebuild or repair your home or rectify smoke damage. This coverage could include damage to:
- Your main dwelling or building
- Additional structures on your property
- Landscaping, your pool, etc.
- The contents of your home
- Debris removal
That said, it's important to know that if you live in a high-risk area, your homeowner's coverage may not be enough. In extremely high-risk areas such as California, Texas, Colorado, and several other states, homeowner's policies may have exclusions for wildfire damage. In these cases, you'll need to look into other coverage options to ensure you're protected from wildfires. For example, the California FAIR Plan covers residential and commercial properties in high-risk brush and wildfire areas. Properties in these areas may be subject to higher rates.
Your business owner's policy will typically cover fire damage to your building, your inventory, etc. In most areas, this includes wildfire damage as well. A business income policy may also help cover any lost profits you suffer as well.
It's important to remember, however, that much like your homeowner's insurance, there may be exclusions for businesses in high-risk areas. In those cases, extended coverage options like the California FAIR Plan can help cover commercial structures too.
If you rent your home instead of owning it, your renter's insurance policy should help cover you in the event of a wildfire. Your renter's insurance is designed to cover lost belongings and in some cases can help cover additional living expenses too.
Unlike home, business, or renter's insurance, your standard vehicle insurance most likely will not cover wildfire damage. Wildfire coverage for your vehicle is optional and is included only with more comprehensive auto insurance plans, not minimum care or liability coverage only.
If you're worried about coverage in the event of a wildfire, reach out. Calling your insurance agent is the best way to determine what your specific plan does and doesn't cover. Your agent can then help you determine if you need to purchase additional coverage to ensure your home and belongings are protected.