An average of 358,300 homes are affected by structural fires each year. While you may not be too concerned about the possibility of a fire in your own home, you must recognize that recovering from a house fire can be very costly. Fire insurance policies can help offset these costs.
Unfortunately, many homeowners don't take the time to ensure that they have adequate fire insurance. They are left footing the bill for repairs while trying to recover from the emotional devastation of a fire.
Here are some specific things that you should look for in a fire insurance policy to ensure your family has adequate coverage:
Water Damage Coverage
Even though a fire policy may cover the repair or replacement of things damaged by flames, many don't provide any coverage for the water damage that often goes along with fire.
Anytime firefighters respond to a house fire, they typically use water to help put out the flames. Thousands of gallons of water can be sprayed into your home via a fire hose, resulting in significant water damage.
You want your fire insurance policy to explicitly state that it will cover the unique type of water damage that is associated with a structural fire.
Structural Damage Coverage
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your house fire, you may not be able to access the property until an official investigation is complete. This investigation time can result in the water used to put out the fire not being removed from the property immediately.
The longer the water sits, the more damage it can cause within your home. It's common for homes with fire-related water damage to experience some structural damage as well.
Extended exposure to the moisture left by fire hoses can cause construction materials to rot away. Mold and mildew can also begin to form, putting the integrity of your home at risk.
Be sure that you have a fire insurance policy that will cover the cost of any structural repairs that are needed when fire-related water exposure damages the structure of your home.
If you assume that smoke damage will be covered under your fire insurance policy, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
The smoke emanating from a fire can damage your walls, appliances, and belongings. Smoke damage can even affect areas of the home that are untouched by flames.
Although some smoke damage is covered under your homeowner's insurance policy, you want to ensure that your fire insurance policy allows for the replacement of smoke-damaged items.