Fire is one of nature's most vicious forces. It destroys quickly, and even the materials that are not burned may still be damaged by smoke or excessive heat.
Delaware is no stranger to fires. From wildfires to electrical and cooking fires, the state has experienced all of them. One surprising fact is that Delaware trains more volunteer firefighters than anywhere else, and has saved the state over $300 million per year in paid firefighter salaries.
Even though Delaware has a strong firefighter force, fires still happen. It's important that when they do, you stay safe, and know that your belongings are covered by fire insurance.
Delaware Fire Facts
- Delaware has a higher than average rate for deaths by fire.
- In 2012 alone, over 9 million acres of land burned due to wildfires.
- In 2012, there were 1,375,000 fires in the United States, which caused 2,855 deaths, 16,500 injuries, and $12.4 billion in property damage.
Fires are one disaster that can occur at any place, at any time, whether it's an electrical fire, cooking fire, wildfire, arson, or vehicle fire. You can always do your best to protect your home and car from a fire, but if one happens, having fire coverage on your homeowners and car insurance will be the best way to get your belongings repaired or replaced.
What is Fire Insurance?
Fire insurance is typically a rider on your existing policies. Current policies that you may have that already contain fire insurance may include the following:
- Home insurance: Most home insurance policies will cover damage to the dwelling and the contents of your home if they are damaged in a fire. You will need to be certain, however, that your coverage amounts are sufficient for what you own.
- Renters insurance: Unfortunately, many renters are under the assumption that their apartment or condo owner's insurance covers their belongings in a fire. This is not true. You must have your own policy in order to protect your belongings.
- Business insurance: Your business insurance probably resembles your homeowners insurance. Fire is usually covered, although you should double check to make sure all of your business assets are covered.
- Car or truck insurance: When it comes to fire damage on your car or truck, the only way it's covered is if you opt for "comprehensive" insurance. Lenders usually require this coverage before you purchase the vehicle, but if you own it outright and only carry liability, you are not covered against fire damage.
- Boat, ATV, watercraft insurance: Unless your boat, ATV, or watercraft is parked in your garage at home, it is most likely not covered by fire insurance. In order to have fire insurance on these items, you will need to have comprehensive insurance in place.
With all of these policies, it's important that you review their coverage in regards to fire damage and smoke damage, to be sure that the total value of the assets is covered.
What is Not Covered by Fire Insurance?
Just like every other type of insurance, there are instances when a fire will not be covered. Here is a quick rundown of circumstances that are not covered by fire insurance:
- If the property owner refuses to contact the fire department, the fire will not be covered.
- If your property does not have smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, or other fire prevention equipment, the fire may not be covered.
- If the fire is caused by negligence, all of the damages may not be covered.
It's important to protect yourself from fires before they occur. Having an emergency plan in place, along with fire extinguishers throughout the house and smoke detectors in every room, are all important factors in keeping your home protected.
Protecting your home from wildfires is also important. This includes trimming dead branches and leaves off existing landscaping, keeping dry brush away from the home, and having hoses at the ready.
How to File a Fire Insurance Claim in Delaware
Unfortunately, even the most cautious owner can fall victim to a fire. If a fire happens to you, here is some information to have handy for your insurance agent:
- General facts about fire, including date/time/location
- Original cause of fire, if known
- The percentage or portion of the house that was damaged.
- An itemized list of what was damaged, along with value
- Receipts for items lost or damaged, if available
- If you have done any improvements on the portion of the home that was damaged, you will need pictures/estimated worth of the improvements
How Much is a Fire Insurance Quote in Delaware?
When searching for quotes on fire insurance - in the form of comprehensive car insurance and homeowners coverage riders - your agent will need to gather some basic information about you and your home. The following list includes a few of the questions that may be asked before giving you a quote:
- Location of home
- Age/size of home
- Any home improvements performed
- Value of contents
- Preferred coverage amount
- Preferred deductible amount
When it comes to protecting your automobiles, trucks, boats, or ATVs, you will also need to answer some basic questions:
- Make/model of item
- Age of item
- Worth of item
- Where item is stored
- Preferred coverage amount
- Preferred deductible amount
In order to ensure that the policy covers you sufficiently, all of these questions will be asked before you can obtain a quote.
How to Purchase Fire Insurance in Delaware
Fire is a very real danger for every homeowner or auto owner. Most likely, you or someone you know has been through a house fire. When shopping for fire insurance quotes, it's important to be sure that you're getting the right amount of coverage.
A Trusted Choice® agent is always available to help answer questions, review coverages, or even file a claim. Contact an agent for help finding the quotes and coverage you need.