The Cold Springs fire in the Nederland area in 2016 destroyed eight homes by the time firefighters had mostly halted its advance. It could have been far worse, leaving fire crews overwhelmed had circumstances turned against them.
Most of us have homeowners’ insurance that covers fire-related losses. Few of us, however, have coverage that includes suppression and structural protection services designed to stop a wildfire before it damages or destroys our home.
The majority of homes valued at $1 million or more lack wildfire protection of this sort. Worse yet, few homeowners are aware that a better policy is available that costs no more than what they now pay.
In fact, only a handful of insurance companies offer this level of coverage. And it isn’t available to everyone; just those who live in fire-prone areas. But in Colorado, that covers a lot of ground. Got a place in the woods? This kind of coverage might be for you.
The big difference here is that the insurance company will actually send out experienced firefighting crews to protect your home in case of a wildfire. Typically, the policy kicks in when a fire is within three miles of your property. The coverage works on your behalf before a fire breaks out.
For example, the insurer’s wildfire protection team will monitor for fire activity and will provide you with updates in case a blaze breaks out.
Once a fire erupts, they may lay temporary water lines around your property. They’ll also move any outdoor furniture and other items that are easily combustible away from the house.
They also may remove dead or dying tree limbs on the property. And, if conditions warrant it, they’ll apply fire retardant on the home.
Of course, there’s no way to guarantee your home will be saved from engulfing flames. But millions of dollars in property have been saved thanks to this sort of wildfire coverage.
Firefighters, we know, always make their best efforts to deal with fires of any kind. But wildfires pose special hazards, often burning out of control for weeks, if not months, in tough terrain.
It’s also important to note that about 85% of our nation’s fire departments rely on volunteers. It may be hard for these departments to respond as quickly as they would like.
Research has shown that the risk of wildfires is likely to continue to grow as temperatures rise, lengthening the fire season, and more people move into forested areas once largely uninhabited.
If your home is in a remote area with limited water supplies, the odds could well be stacked against you. That’s why wildfire coverage of this sort may be your best bet.
Mike Rosser leads the Private Client practice at CCIG.Back to Resources