What insurance coverage is needed during a wildfire

FORT MCMURRAY, AL. (NEWS 1130) – Images of entire neighbourhoods reduced to ash in Fort McMurray may have you thinking about what kind of protection you’d need if you were in a similar situation.

The president of a local insurance company is offering some advice. “The good news is that all home insurance policies across Canada cover loss or damage caused by wildfires.  So there’s often this misconception that any acts of God or acts of nature are excluded and that’s not the case,” says Daniel Mirkovic with ISQ1.

“As long as you have home insurance, you’re going to be covered for any damage that results from the fire itself.  That would also include smoke damage, and then if there’s water damage or fire retardant that’s sprayed on your home and all that stuff and ends up damaging your home or your belongings, all that is typically covered under home insurance policies.”

But, Mirkovic adds there are some components that are not always part of that coverage.

“You’re going to want to make sure you have guaranteed building replacement cost coverage under your policy.  What that means is that it will cover the cost to rebuild your home even if that exceeds the policy limits, as long as you meet the conditions of the policy,” he explains.

Conditions include giving a description of your home when you buy the policy, notifying your provider of any renovations or upgrades you do that exceed a certain amount, and rebuilding on the same site.

Another important piece is coverage of additional living expenses. “What this covers is any additional costs you may incur for temporary accommodations like a hotel, restaurant bills, all those kinds of things while you’re temporarily out of your home, either due to a mass evacuation order as is the case for those in the Fort McMurray area right now, or because your home was damaged as a result of an insured peril or insured loss type, and you’re unable to live in your home while repairs are being done.”

Mirkovic adds you can get that coverage for any kind of catastrophe or something like a kitchen fire.

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