As the landscapes of the Okanagan come alive with the arrival of summer, so does the risk of wildfires.

It's imperative for responsible homeowners like you to take proactive measures to safeguard your home. In this blog, we will explore essential home insurance tips to consider during the current wildfire season, ensuring you have the coverage and peace of mind you need.

  1. Review Your Current Home Insurance Policy: The first step in preparing for wildfire season is to thoroughly review your existing home insurance policy. Understand the coverage limits, deductibles, and exclusions, especially regarding wildfire-related damages. Consult your insurance provider to clarify any uncertainties.

  2. Assess Wildfire Risk in Your Area of the Okanagan: Different regions within British Columbia may have varying levels of wildfire risk. Take the time to assess the wildfire risk in your specific area of the Okanagan. Local authorities and wildfire management organizations provide valuable information on historical fire patterns and risk assessments. Visit the BC Wildfire Interactive Map for a live update on whats happening in your area. Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your insurance coverage to match the specific threats you may face.

  3. Consider Additional Wildfire Coverage: Standard home insurance policies typically cover damages caused by fire. Due to the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires in recent years, consider additional wildfire-specific coverage. This could include protection for smoke, ash, embers, temporary evacuation expenses, and loss of use.

  4. Document Your Home and Possessions: In the event of a wildfire, having a comprehensive inventory of your home and its contents is essential. Take photos or videos of every room, including valuable possessions and important documents. This documentation will be invaluable when filing insurance claims, providing evidence of your property's condition and value before the disaster.

  5. Mitigate Potential Risks: Prevention is key to reducing wildfire-related damages. Take proactive steps to mitigate potential risks around your property, such as clearing dry leaves and debris from gutters and roof, trimming vegetation, and creating a defensible space zone. These measures improve property safety and may lead to lower insurance premiums. For more essential tips and tricks on preparing your home, check out FireSmart BC.

  6. Understand Evacuation Coverage: The possibility of evacuation is a reality for many homeowners. Review your insurance policy to understand the coverage related to evacuation expenses, such as additional living expenses for hotel stays or rental accommodations.

Purchasing a New Home During Wildfire Season?

  1. Secure Insurance as Early as Possible: Many insurers may not issue a new policy if there is an active fire within a 50km radius of the property. When submitting an offer on a home during wildfire season, consider including a clause in your offer to extend the purchase date if insurance is unavailable due to a nearby fire.

  2. Obtain a Comprehensive Inspection: Before finalizing your home purchase, ensure you obtain a thorough inspection of the property, including wildfire-related risks and vulnerabilities. Use this information to make informed decisions about additional coverage and risk mitigation measures.

  3. Understand if the Policy is Binding: Keep in mind that a quote is an estimation and not a definitive commitment. Inquire about the provider's approach to unforeseen events like wildfires occurring between the quote and binding.

  4. Understand Community Fire Protection Measures: Inquire about wildfire prevention and response measures in the community where your new home is located, which may influence your insurance coverage and premiums.

Wildfires can be unpredictable, so being prepared is crucial. By taking the above steps and working with a knowledgeable insurance provider, you can better protect your new home during wildfire season in the beautiful Okanagan region. Happy settling-in and stay safe!

Posted by Gillian Krol Personal Real Estate Corporation on
Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.