Fire is an unforgiving force. A major fire in your home can result in tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. These losses are further exacerbated by expensive clean-up costs. For example, an electrical fire at the Milwaukee County Courthouse in July of 2013 resulted in more than $10 million in clean-up costs alone. Fortunately for taxpayers, the county was protected by fire insurance.
Whether you rent or own your home, it is important that you cover your property against the losses you may incur in the event of a fire. You can protect yourself with one of the following policies:
- Homeowners insurance: Home insurance policies provide coverage for fire damage to both the structure of your home and the contents kept within. Most policies will allow you to purchase special riders to provide coverage for other items such as ATVs and boats while they are stored on your property.
- Renters insurance: While your landlord is responsible for covering damages to the structure of your apartment building or rental home, you need to insure your personal property yourself. A renters insurance policy will provide this necessary coverage at a very affordable rate.
- Condo insurance: While your condo association’s master policy will provide coverage for the structure of your building, you are responsible for covering everything within your unit. A comprehensive condo insurance policy will provide coverage against fire damage do interior walls, floors, ceiling and all of the personal property you keep inside your condo.
How Much Insurance Do I Need?
Fires can be extremely destructive. When insuring your home or business, you will want to be certain that you are purchasing coverage in amounts sufficient to allow you to start over without suffering a great financial loss. Be sure to carefully consider everything you own. Some extremely valuable items may require special endorsements in order to be fully covered.
When purchasing contents coverage, you can choose to purchase either actual-value or replacement cost coverage amounts. Replacement-cost coverage is more expensive but it will provide you with the full funding necessary to replace lost or damaged items with new ones, regardless of the depreciated value of your actual belongings. This can be particularly helpful if your furniture, appliances and electronics are very old.
It’s recommended you document your belongings regularly. If fire were to destroy your home, a detailed inventory is needed to reimburse you fully. Taking pictures from all angles, both inside and outside your home, is an easy and cost free way to inventory your belongings.
How Do I Know if I Have Enough Fire Coverage?
Your agent at CRG Services can help you review your currently-held insurance policies to ensure that you are properly covered against fire damage. If deficiencies in coverage are found, your agent can help you find policies and limits that can meet your coverage needs. Our agents have relationships with several different insurance companies. This eliminates the hassle of comparison shopping by providing you with a variety of customized policies at competitive rates.