NEW YORK, August 9, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The Forest Fire Season Is Increasing In Intensity And Duration In North America each year, with more than 792,000 estimated acres burned nationwide in June. As we reach the peak of the season this summer, QBE and Westwood Insurance Agency stand with those who have struggled and share ways to help prepare and protect assets before or during a disaster.
When it comes to insurance, most home insurance policies cover damage caused by fire. However, these are the details in the blankets it can make a big difference.
âIf your home has been damaged by a wildfire, it can be emotionally devastating. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re covered can be a real comfort during a difficult time, so it’s important to plan ahead to avoid surprises, âsaid Alan Umaly, president, Westwood Insurance Agency. âWhen shopping for insurance, you need to take a look at your coverage limits. You’ll want to take into account any updates, additions, or new exterior structures that should be added to the font. Your insurance coverage should follow what would be the current cost to rebuild everything on your property. “
Think about your coverage
The Westwood insurance agency suggests several things to consider to ensure that your property is adequately insured:
Your home should be covered for its estimated replacement cost. This is usually determined by the average cost that contractors in your area would charge to rebuild your specific home.
With the current boom in the construction market, the cost of replacing your property has likely increased. At a minimum, review your estimated replacement cost each year with your agent.
Avoid trying to save money by insuring your home for less than the replacement cost – your agent can help you find better ways to save.
Take an inventory of your personal items. Typically, a percentage of your accommodation amount is used to set your personal property coverage, and you’ll want to watch out for limitations on items such as jewelry, furs, and guns. Your agent can guide you through specialized policies based on your specific needs.
Protect your property and your family
If a forest fire breaks out, evacuate immediately if advised. Take a disaster kit and insurance contact information with you, close home windows and vents, lock your home, and choose an escape route away from the path of the fire. Make sure you tell someone when you are gone and where you are going. For more information on what to do if a fire threatens your area, visit QBE’s Risk Solutions Center.
“We are in the middle of wildfire season, and if a fire hits your area, it’s scary and leaves little time to think,” said Mark McCormick, Vice President, Risk Management Solutions at QBE. “There are still steps you can take to protect property, and having a plan in place for what to do and where to go if you need to evacuate can make all the difference.”
Remove all debris (leaves, pine needles, etc.) from roofs, decks, fences and patios.
Cut down trees to keep a separation of at least 10 feet from the building, keep tree branches and shrubs 5 feet from the building, and cut branches to a height of 6 feet above the ground.
Be sure to cut trees and plants from dead branches, mow lawns regularly, and rake leaves, needles, and other plant debris.
Remove mulch and combustible ground cover within 5 feet of a building.
Use embers resistant vents on roofs, eaves and foundation vents. This will help prevent embers from entering attics and crawl spaces.
Remove outdoor furniture and highly flammable plants / trees, such as eucalyptus.
Move barbecues with propane tanks away from the house.
Have an emergency kit prepared with things such as medications, flashlights, pet food, blankets, phone numbers, and insurance documents.
QBE Risk Solutions offers a variety of tools and tips to help QBE clients plan for disasters. QBE Claims operates an online disaster management center with instructions on how to quickly and easily report claims to help expedite a response, as well as links to preparedness and safety documents for various natural disasters.
QBE North America is the global insurance leader dedicated to helping clients solve unique risks, so they can focus on what matters most. A member of QBE Insurance Group Limited, QBE North America reported gross written premiums in 2020 of 4.775 billion dollars. QBE Insurance Group’s 2020 results are available at www.qbe.com.
Based at Sydney, Australia, QBE operates in 27 countries around the world, with a presence in all key insurance markets. the North America division, headquartered at new York, operates through its P&C insurance subsidiaries. The actual conditions and coverage of all lines of business are subject to the language of the policies issued. QBE insurance companies are rated “A” (Excellent) by AM Best and “A +” by Standard & Poor’s. Additional information is available at www.qbe.com/us or follow QBE North America on LinkedIn and Twitter.
QBE makes no warranties, representations or warranties regarding the information contained in this document or the fitness of any such suggestions or information for any particular purpose. QBE hereby disclaims all responsibility for the information contained in this document and the suggestions made therein. In addition, it cannot be assumed that every acceptable risk transfer procedure is contained herein or that unusual or abnormal circumstances may not justify or require additional or additional risk transfer policies and / or procedures. The use of any of the information or suggestions described here does not modify, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the current policy or your agent for details on your coverage. QBE and the Links logo are registered service marks of QBE Insurance Group Limited. Â© 2021 QBE Holdings, Inc.
About Westwood Insurance Agency
Westwood Insurance Agency is one of the largest personal lines insurance agencies in United States, having helped nearly half a million people protect what matters most since its founding in 1952. As a full-service agency, Westwood offers a full line of personal, business and surplus line products. Westwood partners with the world’s largest insurance companies to provide customers with a choice of insurance products at competitive prices. For more information, visit www.WestwoodInsurance.com.
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SOURCE QBE North America