A fire is a frightening thing for any home owner. The loss incurred is irreparable. Your pictures, keepsakes and the home that held so many memories are gone in minutes. Insurance cannot give you back all that you lost, but it’s a great help. It’s important to know what your insurance covers before such an event occurs.   

     Of the 360,000 residential fires in 2010, 166,000 were cooking related, 46,000 were fireplace-related and 26,000 were due to electrical malfunctions according to the U.S. Fire Administration. We are all at risk to losing our homes to fire, but homeowner’s insurance covers that loss.   

     CNN Money covered this topic in a helpful article that provides important insurance details in the case of a fire disaster. Following is some highlights from that article. Homeowner policies cover the replacement cost of the home. Mortgage Lenders require that home owners carry a policy that covers the amount of their loan. It’s wise to take out a policy beyond that amount. Evaluate your home owner policy on a yearly basis and update your policy to cover the increase of value to your home especially after renovations and any increase in building costs.   

     Your policy will also cover destroyed contents such as a computer. You can choose a policy that covers the cash value of your computer, or that covers the replacement cost of your computer.  The contents of your computers are not covered however so make sure to backup all of your information on a routine basis.  Cloud based storage options are readily available and will save the contents of  your computer on an offsite server to recovery if you ever need it.  Certain high-cost items may not be covered on your home owners insurance policy as well so if you have any of these items make sure to have them added to your policy. The contents outside your home such as trees, shrubs and other landscaping are typically covered by your policy.    

     With a standard policy your home will be replaced with a standard home. If you have a home that is historical or has special features those costly features will likely not be covered under a standard policy. To more sufficiently cover those things consider an extended or guaranteed loss policy.    

     Talk with your insurance agent about the details of your fire coverage and find out exactly what is included.  Every year to an audit of your home owners insurance policy to make sure that everything you want covered is.  Every one is susceptible to fire danger, but areas in the Metro Albuquerque area can be prone to additional risk from wild fires.  Areas with dense vegetation like Tijeras, Placitas and Los Lunas can have an additional risk.   When looking for a home your REALTOR can point out potential risks to specific homes and can inform you of hightened risks in particular areas.

CNN Money: “Wildfire: Insurance when all is lost.”