The formation of nine major forest fires this week – three in Washington, two in California and Oregon and one each in Idaho and Montana – highlights the importance of having an evacuation plan and proper coverage.
"Insurance companies are fulfilling their traditional role as the nation's financial first responders as thousands of Americans evacuate to the West," said Triple-I CEO Sean Kevelighan. "Forest fires are actively burning millions of acres, and as we see these regions become more populated, it will be critical to focus on rebuilding communities in a more resilient way, as well as making changes in public policy that hinder the ability to clean and remove peaks such as gives rise to the devastation.
Triple-I's Resilience Accelerator shows the power of insurance as a force for resilience. It does this by telling the story of how insurance coverage helps governments, businesses and individuals recover faster and more fully from disasters. Resilience Accelerator also links to HazardHub, an organization that assesses the forest fires that individual properties face across the country.
The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) reported yesterday that 1
Oregon's Bootleg fire, which has been burning along the border with Oregon and California since July 6, continues to challenge firefighters as new flames appear.
"We run firefighting all day and all night," said Joe Hessel, incident manager. "We are looking at a constant struggle for the foreseeable future."
A standard insurance for homeowners covers damage caused by forest fires on a home's structure and its outbuildings (eg garage), as well as the personal belongings that are on site. A tenant's insurance covers the tenant's personal belongings. If a home has become temporarily uninhabitable by a wildfire, ordinary homeowners and tenant insurances provide additional cost of living (ALE).
Triple-I offers the following tips to those living in a fiery community.
- Have an evacuation plan
- Ask your insurer if you are eligible to collect ALE. Some states allow ALE claims to be filed during mandatory evacuations. Be sure to save hotel and restaurant receipts
- Submit a claim to your insurer as soon as you know damage to your property
- Take photos of damage before performing repairs
- When performing either temporary or permanent repairs , save receipts to give your insurance claims adjuster
- Use only licensed contractors to perform repairs and watch out for contractor fraud
- Fire damaged cars are covered by the optional comprehensive coverage of your car policy
RELATED LINKS  [19459014 Article : Wildfires: Insurance and Recovery Resources
Video: Triple-I Tips Under Evacuation Order