Californians who have suffered nightmarish state wildfires may have a long process to rebuild their home.
California is currently fighting three fires — the Camp Fire in the northern part of the state and the Woolsey and Hill fires just outside of Los Angeles in the south.
After any disaster, it can be challenging to recuperate, but Californians face an exceptional problem. Because of the seemingly endless series of wildfires, experts say there is a limited pool of workers and increased cost of supplies to rebuild. This will cause Californians to be without their home for much longer, causing them to be displaced in apartments, rental homes or staying with friends and family. Very important to check your policy for loss of use or additional living expenses to verify how much coverage and time you have.
“If your home burns down by itself, you have no problem rebuilding, but if it burns down with 2,000 others, you have to wait,” Dunmoyer said.
California homeowners also find themselves underinsured, leaving them to stomach more of the cost of rebuilding than they have expected. With the rising cost of real estate in California, their homes may have doubled or tripled in value over a few short years. The problem is many homeowner policies may have not been updated in several years, leaving them underinsured. In other situations, the estimates of rebuilding cost were too low, leaving them to pay the remaining portion of repairs. United Policyholders, a non-profit that aims to help consumers with insurance issues say that roughly two-thirds of insured households are underinsured.
To see if you are underinsured, ask a builder if you could rebuild your home for the money listed in your homeowner’s policy. If not, ask your insurance agent to review – and likely adjust — your coverage level.
We as Texans are also very vulnerable to not having the correct amount of home insurance on our policy. We deal with hail storms, wind storms, tornadoes, and also other fires. Texas was affected by one of the worst floods last year that caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
Many insurance agents do not do regularly review and update home insurance policies with their clients. Meet with your insurance agent today to review your Texas Homeowners policy.
If you’re buying renters insurance for the first time, here’s good news: Protecting your belongings generally costs less than protecting other assets like your car. Plus, there are ways to lower the price of your renters policy even more.
Consider a higher deductible.
Choosing a higher deductible—the amount you pay out of pocket when you have a renters insurance claim—could save you up to 25 percent (with a $1,000 deductible), according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
Bundle, if you can.
Consider buying your renters policy from your auto insurer, if it’s an option. Many insurance companies, including Progressive, will discount property insurance for their auto customers.
Maintain good credit.
If you do, you might get a lower rate. Paying bills on time, only having as much credit as you need and keeping low balances all contribute to good credit, according to the III.
Consider replacement coverage.
Although choosing replacement coverage might not save you money upfront, it could save you big if your belongings are ever damaged beyond repair. Here’s why: With replacement coverage, your insurer will pay to replace your belongings instead of just paying you their current value.