Insurers at the ready as wildfires continue to blaze

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Insurers at the ready as wildfires continue to blaze insurance

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) has told homeowners and renters that insurers are ready to provide assistance, as a number of Southeastern states continue to battle wildfires.
“While many have been lucky so far, it’s important that residents in the impacted areas know insurers are standing by ready to help,” Oyango Snell, PCI’s regional manager, said in a statement.
The first step for those affected is to call their insurer and begin the claims process, the PCI said, adding that all homeowners and renters should take the opportunity to call their providers for an annual insurance check-up.
“This week’s major wildfires across multiple states serve as a reminder to all homeowners and renters to use this time to take a ‘Wildfire Reality Check’ and ensure both your finances and property are prepared for wildfires,” Snell said.
Homeowners and renters should ensure they have enough coverage to rebuild their home, Snell stressed.
“Renters can bundle a policy with their auto insurance so all your belongings can be replaced. Making a home inventory is very easy, just grab your smartphone and walk through your house,” he explained.
Snell also made it clear that many homeowners’ insurance policies will cover for additional living expenses in the case of being evacuated.
Insurance will often cover for moving policyholders “out of shelters and into a hotel room or rental property,” Snell said.
As part of the PCI’s recommended ‘wildfire reality check’, it issued a number of tips to residents to help prepare their finances and homes in the event of a wildfire.
Advice included reading and properly understanding insurance policies, as well as regularly reviewing them, and practical steps such as creating a specific inventory of personal items, keeping a fire extinguisher in the house, and ensuring that smoke alarms are tested.