Massachusetts is a diverse state that can experience everything from snowstorms to hurricanes and other natural disasters. Whether you are a homeowner, a condo owner, or a renter, you may have a concern for your property and financial well-being. Wildfires and residential fires are a threat that can damage not only your residence but your vehicle and belongings as well, so it is important to have the right protection in place.
A Massachusetts fire insurance policy can protect your home and possessions and provide peace of mind. An independent insurance agent in our network can help you find the coverage you need. Contact a local member agent in your area today to compare Massachusetts fire insurance quotes and find the right policy for you.
Recent Massachusetts Fire Facts
- There were 18,178 structure fires in this state
- Property damage was estimated at $195 million
- Electrical fires were the leading cause of fire fatalities
What Is Fire Insurance?
Some amount of fire insurance is included in a standard homeowners or renters insurance policy. However, policies vary from one insurance carrier to another. Additionally, it is important to review the amount of coverage you carry, as it may not be sufficient for your needs. Most policies have defined coverage limits that may extend to particular personal items you have in your home. All policies also contain exclusions, so be sure to read these carefully.
You can typically add special “riders” which are addendums to your policy; these allow you to add coverage for specific items like art, furs, collectibles, paintings and other valuables. The insurance company may require an appraisal before the items will be covered. Adding a separate fire insurance policy is another option you can explore with your agent. Fire insurance policies will typically cover your personal possessions to a maximum of 50 percent of the coverage you have for your home.
What Does Fire Insurance Cover?
A Massachusetts fire insurance policy will generally cover you for the following:
- The structure of your home and detached buildings such as a garage, shed, barn or other outbuildings
- Personal possessions
- Temporary accommodation allowance while your home, condo or apartment is being repaired
Determining the amount of coverage you need in your Massachusetts fire insurance policy requires an inventory of all your personal possessions. Once you determine how much it would cost to replace everything you own, you'll have an approximate estimate of how much coverage you need.
You can also take a video or pictures of your belongings to document the contents of your home. Be sure to include possessions such as valuables, collections, and artwork. It is also a good idea to keep receipts for any expensive items and store this documentation in a location outside of your primary residence, such as in a safe deposit box or in digital form in “cloud” storage. Note that if you do have a home fire, and your vehicle is parked in your garage at the time, it will not be covered for fire and smoke damage unless you have comprehensive coverage (now called "other than collision") on your vehicle.
Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost
There are two methods of covering your property, which will result in vastly different compensation for a fire loss. These coverage methods are:
- Actual cash value: Refers to the market value of an item minus depreciation.
- Replacement cost: Refers to the replacement cost of an item at the current market value.
While many policies only provide “actual cash value” or ACV coverage, most insurers also offer replacement cost as an option. The premium is more expensive, of course, but few insurance advisors recommend ACV coverage because of how rapidly most items depreciate. Clothing, for example, will quickly reduce in value to a fraction of what you paid for it.
Can Your Fire Claim Be Denied?
Most policies contain certain provisions or conditions where they may refute a fire insurance claim. The most common reasons a claim may be denied include:
- You did not report the fire to your local fire department.
- Your residence did not contain functioning smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or other equipment used to detect or prevent a fire.
- The fire was caused by gross negligence.
Be sure to talk with your agent about ways to ensure that you are fully covered and that in the event of a catastrophe you will be successful in filing a claim.
Where to Find Fire Insurance
A local independent insurance agent in our network can help you compare options and quotes for Massachusetts fire insurance that matches your household needs. Because these agents work with many different insurance companies, they can provide multiple quotes and help you find just the right coverage for you.
Contact an independent member agent today to start comparing Massachusetts fire insurance quotes and get the coverage you need and get peace of mind.