Rising temperatures mean more wildfires, even in typically rainy sections of the country like the Northwest. In the case that your home, vehicle, or business is caught in the line of a wildfire, it is important to be educated and prepared for the situation.
According to NW Insurance Council, everyone should have an emergency evacuation plan, pay attention to fire alerts, and follow evacuation orders closely and quickly. Level 1 wildfire evacuation orders means “be ready” for potential evacuation, Level 2 means “be set” to evacuate, and level 3 means “go” — evacuate now.
People who are potentially at risk of having property damaged by wildfires should also review insurance policies to ensure current coverage meets their needs; clear brush 30 to 100 feet away from their home and remove leaves and needles from gutters and roof areas; keep flammable material at least 30 feet away from the home; replace smoke detector batteries twice a year; and keep a complete inventory of household possessions. A complete list of NW Insurance Council recommendations can be found at the nonprofit’s disaster preparation website.
Standard homeowners, renters, and business owners insurance policies do cover loss of or damage to property by fires, as well as additional living expenses if a home or apartment is too damaged to be lived in. Because the claims process can be quite long, it is recommended that people affected by wildfires contact their insurance providers as soon as possible following an incident.
To stay up-to-date on fires and evacuation alerts, visit the Northwest Coordination Center’s website.