The Importance of Wildfire Insurance

March 11, 2011

One of the most important things about insurance is how regional it can be.  Obviously, a home in Nevada is not going to need to have flood insurance, but it’s a necessity for somebody living in New Orleans.

In the same vein, while somebody living in Seattle might not be interested in wildfire insurance, a great deal of the country suffers from wildfires for at least part of the year, and the importance of having proper wildfire insurance in these parts of the country cannot be overestimated.

As those who have been victim of wildfire damage know, a wildfire can destroy your entire house or business in seconds, leaving little or nothing behind that’s salvageable.  If you happen to live in an area where wildfire damage is a remote possibility, you should definitely talk with all of your clients about the need for wildfire insurance.  Do research about the particular area you live in and figure out which areas are most likely to suffer damage from wildfires, and make sure that the subject gets brought up when any client walks in talking about insuring property.

Did you know that in 2010, the Insurance Information Institute recorded that all fifty states suffered from wildfires?  Obviously, the amount of wildfires per state varied dramatically – from in the teens to the hundreds of thousands.  While certain states can probably get away with just having property insured under regular fire damage insurance, those who live in drier climes would do well to be sure that their properties are protected against such catastrophe.

 

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The state with the most wildfires in 2010?  Texas!  Texas reported 16,614 fires, which damaged more than 753,000 acres of land.  Across the United States, over 79,000 wildfires were reported to insurance companies last year, and the fires themselves damaged over 5.9 million acres of land.  That’s a lot of insurance dollars – and for those who were uninsured, there was a lot of heartbreak.

Be sure to remind your clients that they will need to purchase enough wildfire insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding the property after a fire, not just enough to cover the value of the property itself.  Also, if you have clients that live or work in high-risk areas, it helps if they take photos of their entire houses in the event of a wildfire.  It will make the claims process much smoother if insurance holders can prove that they owned certain items with photographic evidence  – otherwise the process can become murky and the holder might not be able to get the full value of his or her property.

Remember to take into consideration the wiles of Mother Nature when in the business of selling insurance.  There are literally thousands of different kinds of insurance out on the market to be bought and sold, and the right kinds for your clients depend on everything under the sun – including the weather.

About Troy Wilson