How effectively is my house covered in the event of a wild fire?

As wildfires rage in California, homeowners may begin to wonder if their home insurance plans would properly protect their house in the event of significant fire damage.

As wildfires rage in California, homeowners may begin to wonder if their home insurance plans would properly protect their house in the event of significant fire damage.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, a majority of home insurance providers have policies that include damages to a house caused by wind, fire and lightning.

"So if your home has been completely destroyed by a fire or if the roof has been burned, your insurance company will pay to have your home rebuilt or the roof replaced. It will also pay if flames and smoke have damaged any other part of your home."

Additionally, most policies also cover moving expenses incurred by homeowners who are displaced by fire damage to their homes and forced to relocate until a house has been repaired or rebuilt.

While it depends somewhat on the specific terms of the policy, most fire insurance plans also cover personal possessions inside the house up to a certain limit, usually 50 percent or 75 percent of the amount of coverage on the house.

The institute added that taking a home inventory - complete with photos, videos, receipts, and lists - was often critical to getting reimbursed for all of the contents inside of a house since it is often hard to remember many smaller possessions once they are gone. If an inventory is taken, a copy should be kept away from the home so it is preserved in the event of a natural disaster.

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Posted: September 4, 2009

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