Florida and other states have seen an increasing number of destructive wildfires in recent years. Fires have led to people losing their homes and their property while living with the fear that once it is safe to move back and rebuild, it will happen again. A lifeline for those who are in the path of wildfires is having insurance coverage.
However, there is often a question as to whether wildfires are covered under homeowners’ insurance. Disputes over insurance are common and this is especially problematic given the damage that wildfires can cause. Knowing how companies are responding to the spate of wildfires and what regulatory agencies are doing about it is key.
Wildfire coverage may depend on the policy
Florida has experienced its share of wildfires this year. By early March, the state had already had more than 70 fires, damaging 36,000 square miles.
Unfortunately, many consumers and businesses who have insurance may be surprised to learn that they are relatively unprotected from losses due to wildfires. In general, home insurance does cover policyholders for wildfires. This should get them compensation for the home and personal property that was lost. However, it often doesn’t cover every cost. However, some insurers are refusing to renew coverage for policyholders in areas at high risk for wildfires.
If the policy has dwelling coverage, it will pay to replace or rebuild the home they lived in. It will also cover for other aspects of the property like a garage. The dwelling insurance should be expansive enough to cover for the rebuild or repair. Recently, people who have made claims have found the economy and costs for building materials has left them unable to rebuild based on what they received from their insurer.
With personal property coverage, people can have their furniture, clothing, electronics and appliances replaced. This too should have sufficient limits in the policy to pay for all that was lost. The insurance goes beyond these necessities and can pay for other challenges that come about because of the wildfire. That may include finding a suitable place to stay while the damage is repaired.
Wildfire insurance disputes often require legal intervention
Insurance companies try to find ways to keep from paying policyholders the maximum for what they have lost or try to use semantics to question the level of coverage should be held accountable for their behavior. Policyholders should be aware of their rights in insurance disputes. Since wildfires are such an ongoing problem, having advice with analysis of the coverage, negotiations and, if needed, litigation is vital.