Wildfire insurance preparedness
Protect what’s important: Get your finances ready for a wildfire.
Are You Financially Prepared for a Wildfire?
Your home, likely your most valuable asset, needs protection. Insurance acts as your financial safety net, crucial for rebuilding post-wildfire. Given recent spikes in construction costs, updating your policy is key to avoiding underinsurance.
Insurance tips for wildfire preparedness
Follow these wildfire insurance tips as part of your Ready, Set, Go! Wildfire preparedness plan:
- Contact your insurance agent for an annual checkup
- Update your policy after home improvements
- Ensure your policy includes key coverages like extended replacement cost, annual inflation adjustment, increased living expenses coverage, and building code coverage
- Verify the accuracy of your home’s details in your policy, like square footage and home finishes
- Consider renters insurance if you’re renting
- Keep homeowners insurance active, even if your home is paid off
- Add coverage to your auto policy for post-wildfire vehicle replacement
- Use your phone to record video of each room and garage for a home inventory
- Describe items in detail, including in drawers and closets
- Record purchase details of large appliances and furniture
- Note expensive or special items (jewelry, collections, etc.)
- Photograph or save receipts for big purchases
- Store your inventory list offsite or in the cloud
- Risk reduction inquiry: If nonrenewed, ask your insurer about risk mitigation steps.
- Shop around: Contact local agents or brokers for coverage options in your area. One insurer may be able to issue a policy that another insurer cannot.
- Know broker types: Independent insurance brokers can offer multiple carriers, while captive agents represent one.
- Check resources: Use the insurance finder tool from California Department of Insurance (CDI)’s at www.insurance.ca.gov.
- California FAIR Plan: Explore the California FAIR Plan for basic fire insurance.
- Add an extra policy: For comprehensive coverage, pair the FAIR Plan with a Difference in Conditions (DIC) policy. You can find a list of insurers that write DIC policies on the CDI website.
- Seek help: Contact the CDI Consumer Hotline at 1-800-927-4357 or file complaints online for assistance.