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Wildfire is an ever present threat and before one ravages your neighborhood, ask yourself “Am I financially prepared?”

“Insurance is the critical back-up plan that enables people to financially recover from a disaster,” said Mark Sektnan, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America’s vice president. “In some high-risk areas it’s not a matter of if there will be wildfires, but when.  Take a few simple steps before the sparks fly to protect your property and your finances.”

“Insurers help policyholders and communities bounce back after disasters. After every wildfire, we see proof that taking action to reduce damage well before a wildfire happens is essential to a fast and full recovery. Thinking about recovery, both financially and physically, before a wildfire sparks is what it means to be resilient.” said the Insurance Information Institute’s president and CEO, Sean Kevelighan.

Financial Prep Tips

A home is generally your largest asset. Protect it. Federal catastrophe grants may not be enough to rebuild a home. Make sure your family’s financial safety net is in place, in case disaster strikes.

Tip 1: Conduct an Annual Insurance Check Up
Call your agent or insurance company annually to discuss your policy limits and coverage. Make sure your policy reflects the correct square footage and features in your home. Consider purchasing building code upgrade coverage.

Tip 2: Know What Your Policy Covers
The details matter. Understand if you have a replacement cost policy that pays to replace all your items at current market price or an actual cash value policy that takes depreciation into account and pays less for aged items.

Tip 3: Do a home inventory so that you can easily file your claim following a disaster. Photos and videos on your smart phone are an easy way to get started.

Tip 4: Update Your Policy to Cover Home Improvements
If you make home improvements, be sure to call your agent or company to update your coverage.

Tip 5: Maintain Insurance
If your home is paid off, be sure to maintain homeowner insurance so you have enough money to rebuild your home and replace your belongings.

Tip 6: Get Renters Insurance
Renters can lose everything in a disaster and be left to start over. Many insurers bundle renters insurance coverage with an auto insurance policy at affordable prices.

Tip 7: Know How Much Your Deductible Is and Save For It In Your Emergency Fund.