A recent article in Insurance Journal highlights how California's early and dramatic wildfire season has prompted property owners to check in with their insurance carriers on fire coverage and safety.
Western editor Don Jergler's article, "Wildfire Publicity Lights Fire Under California Homeowners," documents the flurry of calls and requests for review of insurance coverage by California residents concerned about their home's survivability in the face of wildfire. It also details some of the newer products provided by some insurers in the form of assistance with wildfire preparation and mitigation, and even individualized fire protection and suppression.
It's great news that property owners are checking on their insurance coverage. While about 97% of property in the U.S. carries insurance, recent estimates state that 2 out of 3 homes are underinsured. In the face of a potential total loss of one's property, the majority of homeowners may only recoup 78% of their loss in insurance claims due to inadequate insurance coverage. After hearing from author Linda Masterson and reading her book Surviving Wildfire, it is frightening to realize that many of us may have a potential financial disaster looming due to lack of awareness about what our insurance policy covers and does not. Linda's website provides a great list of "insurance myths" you can check out.
Insurance information groups including the national Insurance Information Institute (III) and the Insurance Information Network of California (IINC) recognize this looming problem and provide great resources for homeowners to use to check on their coverage levels, including the video above from III, and this resource page from IINC.