Are the Colorado Wildfires Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
The Colorado wildfires plaguing the state have destroyed hundreds of homes. Luckily, the fires are reportedly under control and residents have been allowed to return to their properties to assess the damage. But as they review their policies for home fire insurance coverage, will they find that their homes are protected? Should homeowners also consider acquiring flood insurance?
Colorado Wildfires Are Covered by Home Insurance
Now that the Colorado wildfires have been contained, homeowners are reviewing their home insurance policies to ensure their insurers can help pay for repairs. The good news is home insurance policies cover damage or destruction of a home by fire, including wildfires, a “covered peril.”
Included in the perils that are covered in home insurance policies are personal belongings, as well as temporary housing while the home is being repaired.
However, it’s important to note that all of the damage to your home may not be covered if you did not set a coverage limit high enough to pay for all of the damage — or a complete rebuild of your home. Also, keep in mind that deductibles must be paid before the company will pay a home fire insurance claim.
Home Fire Insurance and Flood Insurance for Wildfires
When owning a home, there are a number of costly issues that can arise, requiring a home insurance policy. In addition to wildfires, homeowners could face other natural disasters, including tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as burglaries and destruction to property.
Most homeowners are aware that a homeowners insurance policy can help cover these costs, but they are unaware that water damage is often times not covered by their coverage. They don’t realize that natural disasters like the Colorado wildfires present water dangers. It’s for this reason that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends purchasing a flood insurance policy after wildfires.
Flood risks are normally assumed only in areas close to large bodies of water, but FEMA explained that burned away trees no longer have healthy roots to soak up rainwater. When hundreds or thousands of acres are stripped of this vegetation, rain storms can cause erosion, mudslides and flooding.
While Colorado is known for its high altitude, it’s possible that some homes have been built downstream. If this is the case for you, consider the possibility that flood insurance is the right choice to compliment home fire insurance coverage.