Does homeowners insurance cover wildfires?
Last updated: January 1
Homeowners insurance typically helps cover damage to your home and belongings resulting from a wildfire. Standard homeowners policies generally help protect against specific perils, including fire, but coverage may vary by geographic location and by policy. You may also find that some insurers do not sell homeowners policies in areas where wildfires are common.
If your home is at risk, you'll want to make sure you understand whether your homeowners insurance policy covers wildfire damage and how much coverage you have. You should also consider taking steps to mitigate the risk of wildfires to your home. The Insurance Information Institute recommends having preventative features such as noncombustible siding, decking and roofing materials; covered vents; and fences that are not connected to your home. Also, playground equipment and vegetation should be kept at least 30 and 100 feet away from your home, respectively.
How may homeowners insurance help cover wildfire damage?
If your homeowners insurance policy covers wildfire damage, you'll likely find it offers several different types of protection.
This type of protection helps cover your home and attached structures, such as a garage or deck. If your home is damaged by fire (or another covered peril), dwelling coverage may help pay for repairs or rebuilding.
Personal property coverage
Belongings — things like furniture, clothing and electronics — are usually covered in a standard homeowners policy. Keep in mind that limits will apply, so you may want to review your policy and determine whether your personal property coverage limits are sufficient.
Additional living expense coverage
Homeowners insurance may help cover the cost of reasonable increased living expenses, such as renting a home while your home is being repaired, if a fire leaves it uninhabitable.
Coverage for landscaping
Homeowners insurance may offer limited coverage for plants, shrubs, trees or lawns damaged by a covered peril, such as fire. Check your policy to learn what kind of coverage it may offer for landscaping on your land.
Keep in mind that each type of coverage comes with a limit, which is the maximum your policy will pay after a covered claim. You may also need to pay a deductible before coverage begins. Check your policy or contact your insurance provider to learn about any terms and coverage limits. Your insurance provider can help you make changes to your policy or answer your questions.
Keep track of your stuff
Creating a home inventory may be a good way to keep track of your belongings and their values. Having a record of what you own, along with photos and receipts, may be helpful in the event that you need to provide proof of loss after a wildfire damages your belongings.
Having to pick up the pieces after your home and belongings have been damaged or destroyed by a wildfire can be rough. Knowing what your homeowners insurance covers — and what may not be covered — and taking some proactive measures may help you be better prepared, just in case.