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Home Insurance Braces for Wildfires Claims

The year 2011 has been one for record natural disasters. The Texas wildfires currently raging are already causing never-before-seen damage in the state to forests, animal habitats, and human homes. This damage continues hurting even after the fires are done. The only thing protecting homeowners in the 25 thousand scorched acres is insurance.
Big disasters can be huge tests of the viability of an insurance company. Make sure your insurer is up to the test.

Damage from Wildfires

Wildfires have always been a problem in the Southwest and always will be, if climate change doesn't turn it into a tropical zone. The problem will likely only get worse as more of the precious few water resources are tapped out in Texas and other border states.
Wildfires can start from almost anything, whether it be spontaneous combustion from the sun or a cigarette tossed into the woods. The key is parched woodland from lack of rain, intense sunlight, and heat. Once a fire gets going, it's very hard to stop. Part of the reason is the incredible amount of fuel available – so many trees – and another part is the inability to predict which way it goes. Fires spread by wind to anywhere where a flame or even an ember can blow.
In this Texas wildfire, 500 homes are already been destroyed in the conflagration, with no end in sight. The 25 thousand acres of land affected could double or triple before this is over, the fire department says.

Wildfire Coverage

Homeowners living near wooded areas don't really have much protection against wildfires. Sure, they can put flame retardant in their homes and clear brush away, but if there is a raging inferno like this one, good home insurance is the best you can do.
While most homeowners policies have some coverage for fire damage, it might not be enough to really protect against the threat that a full-blown wildfire poses. In the United States as a whole, there is a 10% chance that any given home will be damaged by a fire at some point over 30 years, so it is important that homes in all states have some protection. The following states, however, should get more fire coverage:
Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas

Texas home insurance Provider Up to the Task?

A reassuring sign of the people of Texas is that the insurance providers are out in force. Many of the companies have sent agents to the affected areas in vans or even temporary housing to help homeowners with claims. State Farm in Central Texas has already filed 210 claims.
Not all providers will be ready, however, as some might not be able to afford the claims. Make sure your insurance provider is up to the financial task by checking their financial health with Standard&Poor's or another ratings agency.

Be Prepared

If you haven't already, get good fire damage coverage on your home insurance. Even if you are in Texas, it might not be too late.
You should also have your paperwork ready for disaster to strike. In case the fire should arrive near you, be ready to leave with all the necessary items, including a copy of your policy and proof of the most expensive items in your home.

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