For immediate release
California Press Office: Janet Ruiz, 707-490-9365, firstname.lastname@example.org
HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE, Calif., Sept. 16, 2021—Wildfire evacuees in the western U.S. who are now returning home should review their residential insurance policies and file a claim if they incurred fire-caused property damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).
“Insurers are the nation’s financial first responders as dozens of wildfires continue to burn in multiple states,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I. “Yet property insurers are facing challenges themselves given that these wildfire-prone states are becoming more populated and public policies governing land use need to adapt. Nonetheless, it remains essential for people residing in these states to have the right types, and amounts, of insurance and that we rebuild these communities in a more resilient manner.”
The National Interagency Fire Center reports this week about 75 percent of the largest wildfires in the U.S. are burning in four states: California, Idaho, Montana, and Washington. The Triple-I’s Resilience Accelerator demonstrates the power of insurance as a force for resilience and links to Hazard Hub, which assesses the wildfire risks individual properties face nationwide.
Damage caused by fire and smoke is covered under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. A standard homeowners insurance policy covers wildfire-caused property damage to a home’s structure and its outbuildings (e.g., garage) as well as the personal belongings housed on the premises. A renter’s insurance policy covers the renter’s personal belongings. Water damage caused by firefighters extinguishing a fire is covered under both homeowners and renters insurance policies.
Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies also provide additional living expenses (ALE), sometimes referred to as Loss of Use, to policyholders who either relocated because of a mandatory evacuation order or had their residence rendered uninhabitable due to wildfire-related damage.