Wash. Commissioner Urges Homeowners to Take Wildfire Precautions in Light of Drought Predictions

July 9, 2004

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is warning residents that now is the time to protect their homes from what all indicators predict will be an intense wildfire season in the Northwest. It’s also a prime opportunity to ensure homeowners’ property and possessions are adequately protected by insurance.

“Forests are as dry as they typically are in late July or early August,” warned Kreidler. “As warm temperatures and our drought continue, homeowners need to take action today. There are some easy steps that can help diminish your fire exposure.”

* Prevent loss. Homeowners, and especially rural homeowners, should clear a natural firebreak between their home and outbuildings and trees, bushes and uncut fields. They may also want to consider installing a pump to a nearby water source as well as using fire-resistant roofing and building materials.
* Review their homeowner/renters coverage regularly to ensure that it includes adequate replacement-value coverage. Without replacement-value coverage, their carrier may only provide a discounted amount based on wear and tear and depreciation. If people are unsure what type of coverage they have or if they have an adequate amount, take the time today to review the policy or contact one’s agent.
* Prepare an inventory today by either videotaping or photographing all appliances, furnishings and possessions that one might want to claim should their property be destroyed or damaged.

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