Arizona is known for its dry, hot climate. And during most of the year, the state remains on high alert for fires. Fires spread quickly in the state, and even a small spark, such as from a cigarette or an engine, can burn out of control within minutes.
While many believe that the flat land in AZ doesn't leave much for fires to burn, the state is home to six national forests that readily come under attack by wildfires on an almost yearly basis.
Whether in downtown Phoenix or in the rural areas of the state, a fire can still take its toll. Fires can be devastating, and once the fire has burned out, having fire insurance in place is one of the most important ways to make sure you get the repairs you need for your home and belongings.
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Arizona Fire Facts
- Wildfires destroyed more than 4 million acres in 2013.
- On average, there are more than 65,000 fires every year in Arizona.
- One of the largest fires in Arizona history was the Rodeo–Chediski fire 2002, which burned over 468,683 acres.
When it comes to fires, the damage extends well beyond just what's burned. Smoke can cause damage, as well as the fluids that firefighters use to put out fires. Additionally, fires can impact landscapes for decades.
Whether you have just moved to Arizona, or have been a resident all your life, if you own a home, fire insurance is required by law. Fire insurance is part of your homeowners insurance, and helps you recover after a fire.
What is Fire Insurance?
Fire insurance is part of your typical homeowners insurance policies. Fire insurance covers the damage from fires, and allows you to get help repairing your home and belongings. A typical homeowners policy that includes fire insurance will include the following:
- Building coverage: If you own your home, you probably carry insurance on it. If you are still paying a mortgage, you are required to carry insurance on your home that will protect you from fire. Homeowners are required to carry enough building coverage to repair their home or completely rebuild it, if necessary. This includes those that own a mobile home, manufactured home, or modular home. If you rent your home, building coverage is not required by law, since your landlord has a policy in place to cover the home's structure.
- Contents coverage: If you rent your home, and do not carry contents coverage, your personal belongings in the rental are not covered by insurance. This means that if a fire occurs, the building will be repaired, but your belongings will be a total loss. If you are financing your home, you are required to have insurance covering it. Even if you own your home outright, continuing to have contents coverage is a wise choice, as you or someone you know has probably been affected by a home fire. Even small cooking fires can do a lot of damage when it comes to repairing a home.
What About My Car, Boat, or RV?
If a fire breaks out in your home, and your car, boat, trailer, or ATV are damaged, unless you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance will most likely not cover the damage.
Comprehensive insurance is better known as "everything other than collision." This insurance is required by lenders when you purchase a vehicle or boat, and covers events such as fire, wind, theft, and arson. If you purchase the item outright, however, this insurance is optional. In a fire-plagued state such as Arizona, it's a wise idea to have this insurance to cover your assets.
Is My Arizona Business Covered by Fire Insurance?
When you own a business in Arizona, you're required to have many insurance policies, one of which is business insurance. This policy can protect your property, equipment, assets, and stock from damages related to fires. It's extremely important to keep this insurance policy updated to ensure that your business and valuables properly covered.
How Much Fire Insurance is Enough?
When it comes to insuring your home against fires, it's important that you get enough coverage. One way to ensure you get enough protection is to do a home inventory. A home inventory will give you an estimated value of your belongings so you can purchase enough coverage to make sure you're completely covered. This process entails going through each room and writing down all the belongings in that room, whether it's appliances, electronics, furniture, or socks.
Attach a value to every item. Make sure to write down any serial numbers, and take pictures of expensive items. Get a total for each room. Once you've done the whole house, add the totals together and double it. This will give you a total that reflects the coverage that would replace all of your items.
Fire Safety Tips for Arizona Residents
Fires can happen to anyone. Here are some steps to take to do the most you can to protect yourself from fires:
- Clear dead brush from around your home.
- Keep fire alarms/smoke detectors in every room, and change the batteries every six months, whether they're dead or not.
- Keep fire extinguishers in the home, especially in the kitchen/rooms with fireplaces/bedrooms, and make sure they stay charged.
- Plan and practice a fire escape route.
- Teach children about fire safety.
It's important to do your part in protecting your home from the danger of fires.
When are Fire Claims Denied in Arizona?
Sometimes insurance companies deny coverage for fire damage. Here's a brief rundown of instances that are likely to lead to denial of a fire insurance claim:
- When the homeowner refuses to call 911
- If the homeowner is deemed negligent in protecting the home from fire (not installing smoke detectors, as an example)
- When the homeowner is grossly negligent of the home as a whole
How Do I Get Fire Insurance in Arizona?
When it comes to getting fire insurance, it's important to get the right coverage for your family. A Trusted Choice® agent is always available to help you discuss coverage options, suggest policies, or even help you file a claim.
Your agent has years of experience working with Arizona insurance providers, and can find you a number of quotes from a variety of companies. You will only receive those quotes with the best coverage at the most affordable rates. Contact a Trusted Choice member agent near you to find out how you can fully protect your home with an insurance policy that offers fire protection.