It's devastating to see fires rip through a neighborhood like this. Lives may be lost and families will struggle with this trauma for many years. It was not too long ago that we experienced something like this in Oregon.
When the fire burned through the Santiam Canyon in 2020, one of my customers called me as they were being evacuated. They asked me how much coverage they had, thinking that they might need to file a claim. I thought for sure they would lose their home.
Here are the coverages we talked about:
- Dwelling- This is the amount the insurance company will pay if you have a total loss. This is often confused with Market Value but the dwelling coverage pays to rebuild the part of the house that you live in.
- Personal Property- This coverage pays for the things like furniture, clothing and appliances that are not built into the home.
- Separate Structures- This is for fences, sheds, retaining walls, hot tubs, etc, that are not attached to the dwelling.
- Loss of Use- This is money to help you pay for a place to live while your home is unlivable and being repaired.
Most people nowadays have this policy information online or in an app on their phones. You may not think to look for your insurance documents if you are being evacuated, so having this information on your phone is handy. At least have your insurance agent's number on there like my customers did.
Fortunately, my customer's home was spared by the forest fire.