As we enter into the second week of National Preparedness Month the theme is knowing how to plan for specific needs before disaster strikes. An important need is ensuring your homeowners policy or renters insurance is up-to-date and will adequately cover your needs after a wildfire.
Next week author Linda Masterson will be the featured presenter for September’s Firewise virtual workshop series and in her Surviving Wildfire Pocket Guide she states more than half of those who lose a home to wildfire are underinsured by at least 25%.
To help in planning for your individual insurance needs she developed this helpful list of important action items:
- Determine today’s actual cost to rebuild your home by consulting with a local builder – then compare that amount to your insurance Coverage A.
- Review your coverage with your agent and update if/as needed.
- Report major home improvements to your insurer within 90 days of completion.
- Take annual photos of the exterior of your home and outbuildings – include views from each side of the building.
- Develop a home inventory or update your current version.
- Take room-by-room photos/video of the home’s contents. Open drawers, cabinets and closets – include every room including the garage and storage sheds.
- Document high-value and unique items, art, jewelry, antiques and collectibles.
- Store a copy of your inventory and photos off-site for safe access post fire.
Find more great planning advice in the book Surviving Wildfire – Get Prepared, Stay Alive, Rebuild Your Life and register to participate in next week’s live Firewise Virtual Workshop, and hear Masterson share her experience of losing her home and contents in a wildfire; and learn how you can become a better prepared wildland/urban interface resident.