Did you know that nearly 900,000 homes across 13 states in the western U.S. are at “high” or “very high” risk for wildfires? Moreover, the estimated cost of reconstruction for these homes tops $237 billion. Without a doubt, wildfires are a serious risk to humans and property alike — and with more than 68,000 U.S. wildfires in 2015 alone, raising homeowner awareness about preparing for wildfires is so important.
As an insurance agent, it is your job to be aware of the potential risk wildfires pose to your clients to help provide them with the best policies for their specific needs. Read on to learn the top states with wildfire hazards and how you can provide better coverage to your clients.
Texas tops the list of states with the biggest risk of wildfire hazards. In 2015 alone, Texas experience 9,272 wildfires and 184,418 acres burned. This was a large increase from previous years where Texas formally ranked lower on the list.
Top cities at risk: Austin, Houston, New Braunfels, Rock Round, San Antonio, Sugar Land, The Woodlands
With 8,745 wildfires in 2015, California experienced the second most wildfires in the United States. Although experiencing less wildfires than Texas, California experienced more agricultural loss — 893,362 acres burned.
Top cities at risk: Anaheim, Arcade, Arden, Chico, Grass Valley, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Truckee
Although Colorado saw fewer wildfires in 2015 than previous years, the state’s dry climate and open stretches of land make it prone to potential fires. In fact, areas like Colorado Springs include nearly 15,000 homes that earned a “High Risk Rating” in CoreLogic’s Wildfire Hazard Risk report.
Top cities at risk: Aurora, Colorado Springs, Denver, Lakewood
Frequently Asked Question Regarding Wildfires from Homeowners
Being informed is the best way to help your clients protect themselves and their assets in the case of a wildfire. Read some of the most frequently asked questions homeowners having regarding wildfire coverage and how you can best answer them
- Does my insurance cover wildfires? Yes, although it is important for your clients to understand that although standard homeowners policies typically cover specific perils and losses (including things like theft and fire), coverage may differ by policy and geographic location. Additionally, if homeowners live in an area where wildfires are extremely common, coverage may differ too.
- How can homeowners insurance help protect me? Homeowners insurance offers varying protection in the case of wildfire damage. Dwelling coverage can protect your clients’ homes and attached structures and personal property coverage can protect clients’ additional belongings. Additional living expenses are often covered in the case of a fire and include things like renting a home during repairs.
- How can I prepare my home for a potential wildfire? There are many ways you can help your clients be prepared for a potential wildfire. Recommend that your clients start by creating a home inventory to track their belongings and valuables, including pictures, detailed descriptions and receipts — all of which can be monumentally helpful following a loss.
Learn More About ASI
ASI is one of the largest homeowners insurance carriers in the United States. Through a network of independent agents, the company offers home, condo, renters, dwelling fire and flood insurance in more than 35 states, with plans to cover all 50 by the end of 2017. Find out more at AmericanStrategic.com.