Wildfires are a scary prospect, but they’re a fact of life in many parts of the United States. Wildfires burned about 9.8 million acres in 2017, and insurance claims in California alone reached nearly $12 billion. Whether or not wildfires are a concern in your area, here are some things you should know if you should ever face an insurance claim due to wildfire.
Call Your Agent
Timing is everything when filing a wildfire claim, so you’ll want to file one as soon as possible. Your Farm Bureau agent will help you start the claims process by reporting your claim for you. He or she will also work with you on things you can address right away that could protect your property from additional damage or loss.
Talk to Your Adjuster
You will be contacted by an adjuster, who will help make arrangements for an inspection. Sometimes, claims can be settled over the phone, but typically wildfire losses will require an in-person inspection of your damaged property. It’s very helpful to have a home inventory just for these purposes. While it’s not necessary for a claim, it can make the process much easier. The more detail you can provide about the items in your home, the better! Remember, it can also be helpful to take pictures of your property and contents prior to a loss so you have a record.
Save Your Paperwork
Save all paperwork related to your claim. If you’re unable to live in your home and have to move into temporary housing, be sure to document all your out-of-pocket expenses. This could be covered, so it’s important that you have this information for your adjuster when the time comes.
Be Wary of Scammers
Unfortunately, those who have suffered personal property loss are a prime target for scammers. Some may even tell you they’ve been sent by your insurance company. Be careful! You company will always alert you before a contractor or other workers are sent. If a contractor asks for anything beyond a small deposit up front, or is unable to show you official documentation like a contractor’s license, local operating permit, or certificates of insurance, be on your guard!
Let’s Protect It.
If wildfires strike your area, we can help make sure you’re prepared. Your local Farm Bureau agent can help you protect the things that matter most to you. Talk to an agent to schedule a SuperCheck® today to make sure you have the coverage you need, when you need it.