Guide to Home Fire Insurance Coverage
House Fire Insurance: The Basics
One of the most terrifying emergency situations that can happen in your home is a fire. Fires are primal, dangerous emergencies that can destroy lives and property quickly, and without warning. With more than 17,000 house fires a year in Canada, fire represents a real danger. . The simple fact is that while fires are not always lethal, they often cause damage to homes.
No one is thrilled about having to fire an insurance claim, whether it’s for fire damage or anything else. That being said, in the case of a fire, your home fire insurance may be a huge help to you in terms of getting your life back to normal.
But does homeowners insurance cover fire damage? This article is here to help you understand that, so keep reading to learn more.
What Home Fire Insurance Covers
Generally speaking, fire insurance is included as part of your general home insurance. The specifics of each policy holder’s coverage depend entirely on their contract.
Basic fire insurance coverage extends to house fires caused by fireplaces, candles, or cooking accidents. You should be very familiar with your own home or condo insurance policy to make sure that you know what types of coverage you have.
What’s Your Coverage?
There are a couple of different types of house fire insurance coverage under your home insurance policy that will likely be important in the event of an emergency. The coverage on your dwelling will be the type of insurance that covers your house and its belongings. If you have a fire, your homeowner’s insurance will come to a valuation that is consistent with your coverage. That money will be used to repair or replace your home, and the contents within.
How Condo Fire Insurance Differs
More than 1.9 million Canadian households live in condos. As such, we’d be remiss not to talk about how fire insurance differs between houses and condos. House fire insurance and condo fire insurance are slightly different in a few key ways.
The key difference is that structural insurance isn’t typically held by people who live in condos since they don’t own the building. Instead, the structural insurance policy will likely be held by the condominium board.
In essence, your tenant’s insurance covers your possessions and some amount of personal injury liability. The actual repair of the building would be covered by your condominium board’s insurance policy.
How Much Does House Fire Insurance Cost?
You should consider every type of potential coverage when you’re looking at tenant insurance. Fires are just one aspect of damage that can be caused to your property.
A good insurance policy will be tailored and consistent with your individual needs. Fire insurance is one of the types of home insurance that many hope they will never use. If you end up suffering a fire and you have to make a claim, you’ll be very glad you have coverage. You’ll be even more glad that you chose to educate yourself on homeowner’s insurance after a fire that causes loss.
Claims Process for Home Fire Insurance
Essentially, there are a few steps you should take in case of a fire. If the fire was sudden, and you didn’t have a chance to grab anything, you should consider getting an advance on your settlement.
You’ll need necessities, like a toothbrush, soap, etc. Your insurance policy may have an option for you to take out an advance on your settlement before it’s totaled and paid out. When you do get your eventual settlement, you’ll receive the full amount less the advance you took out.
You’ll need to make sure you listen to expert opinions, like your local fire department, when it comes to maintaining your home. Essentially, if the fire was bad enough to vacate, you may need to make sure the property is secure. You might temporarily flag and fence off the property, or at least make sure windows and doors are closed or boarded, depending on the level of damage.
The next tip is to contact your insurance company promptly. It takes time to determine the level of damage, and the cost associated with replacing or repairing your property. The more damage, the more time it may eventually take to come to a settlement.
Your insurance company will do its best to assist you promptly, but they have to make sure they do a thorough job. It will be challenging to stay patient during this process, as you may have lost much of your property in a fire. That’s why it’s essential that you contact your insurance company as soon as possible after an emergency like this, to give them a head-start on the claims process.
You’ll want to document everything. Your living expenses will pile up as you may have lost your bedroom and kitchen and are potentially living in a hotel. Keep all the information in mind as you’ll want to let your insurance company know what those costs amount to during the evaluation and eventual claims process.
Basic Fire Safety Tips
We can’t offer too much specific fire safety information for you, as each person’s situation is very different. However, there are some basic fire safety tips that everyone should be following, regardless of the individual situation.
Cooking is the leading cause of fires within the home. Make sure you never leave burners or ovens unattended, and that you’re always aware of the dangers of fire when you’re in the kitchen. A well-placed fire extinguisher that hasn't expired is important to have handy as well. It’s also important to know how to use one. Basic courses in fire safety are available in many places, including online.
Candles, smoking, and heating elements are other ways that fires can start in the home. In general, follow the advice of never leaving a situation that could cause a fire unattended.
We hope that you now know a bit more about home fire insurance coverage, and understand how condo fire insurance is different. Fire safety is challenging, but it’s an everyday task that we can stay on top of with vigilance, and planning.