Home Insurance: Protection from Fire

With news reports of spreading wildfires in various parts of the country, the topic of fire insurance must be considered. Does your homeowners insurance policy cover damage or loss from fire? What types of fire insurance exist? How does fire insurance work?

What is Fire Insurance?

Fire insurance can either be included under a larger homeowner policy as something called a “named peril,” or it can be purchased separately. Either way, fire insurance provides protection from loss due to fires caused by a variety of reasons. In fact, fire insurance offers coverage for fires caused by just about anything – unless it is specifically excluded within the policy, as is typical with fires caused by earthquakes.

How Does Earthquake Home Insurance Work?

Fire insurance policies cover four specific types of property. The first is “dwelling,” and refers to your actual home. Other structures include detached garages, garden or tool sheds, or other structures that are on the property but separate from the home. Personal property coverage pays for the property contained within your home or other structures. This includes all of your belongings. The fourth type of insurance coverage is “additional living expense.” This coverage provides monies to pay for temporary dwelling while repair or rebuilding takes place.

Fire Insurance Carriers

Since most insurance companies that offer homeowner insurance offer fire protection, the list of fire insurance carriers is extensive. Some of the most well-known carriers include Farmers, State Farm and Liberty Mutual. Sometimes, small insurance companies can offer lower rates, but beware of what you sacrifice. Before choosing a fire insurance carrier make sure the company is in compliance with local laws and in good standing with your state’s Department of Insurance. Also, be sure to look into the company’s customer service record and ratings. Comparing quotes, levels of coverage and customer satisfaction scores can be a lot of work and prove to be tedious, but only by following this process will you find the best fire insurance carrier for you.

Filing a Fire Insurance Claim

When a fire happens, it is difficult to remain calm and think through the steps one must take to file a claim. Thinking these steps through ahead of time can help you be prepared in the event of a fire emergency. The first think to keep in mind is that you will need to have the insurance company’s phone number handy. If possible, store the number in a cell phone or keep a copy of the contact information at a friend or family member’s home. The first step in filing a fire insurance claim is to contact the insurance company to report the fire. Eventually you will have to send in a letter to report the incident in writing. The information you will be required to provide includes the date of the incident, a formal police report, a description of damages accompanied by photos, an itemized list of covered lost items, and repair or rebuilding estimates.

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