It seems as though wildfires have been in the news constantly for months now. The Sand Fire in Santa Clarita and now the Blue Cut Fire in the El Cajon Pass are two of the most recent examples what happens when drought conditions meet high temperatures. Hopefully your home and family are safe, but have you thought about what insurance protection you have should you need to relocate due to fire?
Damage caused by fire and smoke are covered under standard homeowners, renters and business owners insurance policies and under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy. Water or other damage caused by fire fighters to extinguish the fire is also covered under these policies. In California, the California FAIR Plan covers residential and commercial properties located in brush and wildfire areas.
Standard homeowner and renters insurance policies cover the cost of additional living expenses (ALE) when there is an insured disaster. This includes the expense of living away from your home if there is a mandatory evacuation or it is damaged and made unlivable—ALE covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other expenses, over and above customary living costs, incurred while your home is being rebuilt.
Voluntary evacuations that are not required by authorities do not generally trigger ALE coverage, however.
When it comes to your family’s safety, don’t guess. Talk to your insurance professional and look at what your homeowners policy does and doesn’t cover. Be sure you know what you can count on from your insurance company should you ever need it.