Fire Damage San Diego: The Insurance Endurance of Claims up in Flames
Most people never imagine that a wild fire, act of arson, or household accident will cause flames to burn down their home. This may come as a shock, but losses from wildfires make up only two percent of total casualty and property claims across the nation with tornadoes and hurricanes accounting for much heftier losses. When insurance companies look at this fact it tells them that wild fires are not big priorities and therefore state insurance commissions fail to work with the industry to form statewide policies set in stone that promote better protective measures at primary decision points. Local fire damage San Diego companies tend to staff their teams with certified insurance professionals who are trained to navigate these policies for their clients.
According to ‘The Los Angeles Times’, insurance companies are being forced to pay more attention to fire damage due in part to the recent wildfires that struck San Diego County and other regions of the Western U.S., the increase in fire fighter casualties (those 19 firemen who died in Arizona) and the fact that fire damage claims are on the rise. According to co-director of the Fire Chasers Project at North Carolina State University Toddi Steelman, the industry has a compelling reason to pay greater attention to wildfires and the homeowner’s need for fire damage restoration because more houses are burning than ever before. He states that during the 80s and 90s fewer than 1000 homes burned annually but in the 2012 fire season alone more than 2,200 homes burned and an estimated $377 billion in damage has since been racked up. Just ask any fire damage San Diego company how these stats have effected them, and they will report that they have never been busier!
So this means that the federal government is going to step in to the rescue, right? Wrong. According to the ‘LA Times’ the federal government is sending up smoke signals that it will be cutting back from the $1 billion it spends annually to suppress wildfires, and this means homeowners are at greater risk and insurance companies are not willing to implement change into the complex legislature of their policy holder’s terms.
What can Homeowners Do?
As a homeowner, and especially if you live in a red zone region, make sure your policy is iron-clad in the event of a fire. Some policies may read well on the surface, but upon a deep inspection you may discover that the policy would not cover water damage restoration repairs required via water extractions after the fire department’s hoses have sprayed hundreds of gallons into your home. In some cases you may need a supplemental policy to prevent your claim from going up in the flames with the rest of everything else. Another thing to examine in your policy is what extent of damage the insurer will cover. Some historic homes with expensive crown molding, ceiling medallions and other antique types of architecture may not get reimbursed for such rare and expensive architectural details, while other policies may refuse to replace the cost of costly antique furniture but instead will pay to have the standard level of home furnishings replaced.
The insurance endurance is dipping, but if there is a light at the end of the tunnel it is that the industry may be forced to get their act together and work more closely with the federal government to set policies and standards. In the meantime, don’t let your claim burn up in flames; go see an insurance broker or contact a fire damage San Diego company and make sure your policy covers you, your family, your home and all that is within!