The threat of fire is what makes us double-check the stove and curling iron before we head out of the house. You've worked hard to buy your Maryland home and to furnish it with the belongings you cherish. You don't want to see all of that hard work and effort go up in smoke. That's why you want to be sure that your insurance policies are adequate to cover you in the event of a fire. Before you search for fire insurance quotes, however, there are several factors to consider.
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Fire Facts and Statistics
According to the National Fire Protection Association:
- In recent years, there were more than 1.3 million fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 2,855 deaths, 16,500 injuries, and $12.4 billion in property damage.
- 480,500 were structure fires, causing 2,470 deaths, 14,700 civilian injuries, and $9.8 billion in property damage.
- 172,500 were vehicle fires, causing 300 deaths, 800 injuries, and $1.1 billion in property damage.
- 692,000 were outside and other fires, causing 60 deaths, 825 injuries, and $813 million in property damage.
- The recent U.S. fire loss clock shows that a fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds. One structure fire was reported every 66 seconds.
- One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds.
- One civilian fire injury was reported every 32 minutes.
- One civilian fire death occurred every 3 hours and 4 minutes.
- One outside fire was reported every 46 seconds.
- One vehicle fire was reported every 156 seconds.
What Causes Residential Fires?
National estimates for the major causes of fires in residential buildings for recent years, the most recent year data are available, are:
- Cooking causes more than 70 percent of all residential fires
- Malfunctioning heating systems cause nearly 15 percent of all residential fires
- Electrical malfunctions are the third leading cause of home fires
- Unintentional and careless use of candles or smoking
- Arson and open flames
How Can I Be Certain My Fire Coverage Is Enough?
Unlike floods, earthquakes and other catastrophic events, your Maryland homeowners insurance policy should cover fire damage. But how do you know if that's enough protection? The first thing you should do is to conduct an inventory of your personal possessions. Go room to room and total up the value of your electronics, furniture, books, jewelry, artwork, and clothing. The total value amount should give you an idea of how much contents coverage you need to protect yourself, should your home and all you keep inside be destroyed by fire.
To adequately protect your vehicle from fire damage, it is a good idea to obtain comprehensive coverage on your car insurance. This coverage will help pay for any fire damage your car or truck sustains, should a fire start in your garage or the vehicle malfunctions and starts on fire.
What Coverage Options Do I Have in Maryland?
Most Maryland insurance providers will give you an option between insuring your personal property at actual cash value or replacement cost. The difference between the two can mean the difference between a slow and painful recovery and a swift one.
- Actual cash value: This type of reimbursement option takes depreciation into account. For example, under this policy, if your 10-year-old stove is destroyed by a cooking fire, your insurance company would reimburse you the cost it takes to purchase a 10-year-old stove.
- Replacement cost: This reimbursement method ignores depreciation. That 10-year-old stove would be replaced with a brand new one with comparable features.
Is My Deductible Appropriate for Fire Protection?
Another important detail of your homeowners insurance policy and whether or not it is fireproof is the deductible you choose. While a higher deductible may yield lower premium quotes, it is important not to choose a deductible that is too high. Should you need to file a claim for fire damage, your Maryland insurance company will demand that you meet the deductible before they start paying on your claim. Therefore, it's important to choose a deductible you can comfortably afford to pay.
Do MD Insurance Companies Deny Fire Damage Claims?
There are a number of reasons why a home fire insurance claim may be denied by the Maryland provider, including:
- The property owner refused to call the fire department
- The home was not equipped with smoke alarms, fire extinguishers or other fire prevention equipment
- The fire was caused due to gross negligence by the homeowner
- The fire was intentionally set by the homeowner or another resident
- The fire was preventable
Is Sufficient Fire Insurance Coverage Expensive?
You may be surprised to learn that with a few tweaks and a small adjustment to your deductible, you can find homeowners insurance that adequately protects you from devastating fire damage for little more than you are paying now. It is highly recommended to review your homeowners insurance policy every two years to be certain your coverage is sufficient. During this review, take the opportunity to compare your current policy with other quotes from a variety of insurance companies. You may find better protection at a lower quote than what you are currently paying.
How Can I Find Fire Insurance Coverage in Maryland?
The last thing you want to worry about as you lead your family to safety during a house fire is whether or not you have adequate insurance to help you back on your feet. Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents in our network are always available to answer your questions, suggest coverage options, and even assist you in filing a claim. These agents have years of experience working with Maryland insurance companies, enabling them to find you a number of quotes with the best coverage options at the most affordable rates.
Contact an agent near you to find out how you can obtain a homeowners insurance policy with fire coverage that fits your needs and budget.