What Can We Learn From Tragic Wildfires?
Recently our news has been full of heartbreaking stories of wildfires throughout Southern California. With large fires such as the Thomas, Lilac, and Liberty fires causing immeasurable damage throughout the state, this year’s total affected acreage has more than doubled from this time last year.
Entire towns were evacuated and schools closed their doors for nearly a week. Celebrities in the Los Angeles area were sharing with us their own evacuation stories.
The forceful Santa Ana winds added to the incredible fury of the fires as firefighters worked to contain them. This came right on the heels of the devastating fires in the Northern California wine country which also destroyed thousands of acres of land and countless homes.
Individuals and businesses are rebuilding homes, businesses, and lives. While we cannot always predict when unfortunate circumstances will arise, we can do everything possible to make sure that we are ready.
How to Prepare for Disaster
One of the most important steps that you can take to prepare your home or business is to make sure that your home owner’s insurance is accurate and up-to-date. Below are some suggestions on how to make sure you get the most from your insurance policy:
- If you have a replacement cost policy, make sure that your home is insured to full replacement value. You can do this by contacting your agent and asking him or her to verify those values. Agents have special tools to accomplish this.
- Discuss with your agent exactly what your policy covers. This will help you to better understand your insurance and know what to expect if you should incur a loss. It will also give you a chance to make any necessary changes.
- Make sure that your agent has the most updated information about your property. Examples include verifying all vehicles and reporting any upgrades or additions made to your home or commercial property.
- Verify your deductible with your agent and make adjustments if necessary. Make sure you know what your out-of-pocket cost will be at the time of a loss.
- Make a detailed list of your personal belongings. You may also consider taking pictures or making a video. Store these in a location separate from your property. This will help you to more easily itemize your loss at the time of a claim.
Following these tips and making the most of your relationship with your insurance agent can help you prepare for the worst and gain peace of mind.