Few things are as destructive as a fire. Unless you have fire insurance coverage for your Missouri property, a fire can result in insurmountable financial loss. There are many ways for a fire to start accidentally – from cooking accidents to faulty wiring to unattended candles. Protect yourself and your loved ones with smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and evacuation plans; and protect your finances by ensuring that you have suitable fire coverage. You can start by requesting quotes for this very important insurance.
Missouri Fire Statistics
- There are 885 fire departments in the state of Missouri.
- The average amount of property loss due to residential fires in this state is $6,320.
- Missouri has the ninth highest death rate due to fires at 18.2 deaths per every million residents.
- An average of 174 wildfires burn in Mark Twain National Forest each year.
- These wildfires burn approximately 5,145 acres in the forest each year.
How Do Missouri Residents Get Fire Insurance?
Fire insurance is a specialized type of property insurance intended to cover the costs associated with the reconstruction, repair or replacement of your personal property if fire damages your home. This coverage is typically included as part of the insurance policies you already have, including (but not limited to) home insurance, business insurance and comprehensive auto insurance. Some policies may require you to purchase additional fire damage or liability riders.
It is important that you be aware of what your currently held insurance policies do and do not cover so you can ensure that you are properly covered against fire damage. If your policy does not provide satisfactory coverage, it may be time to increase your limits or to start shopping for a better insurance company.
Fire Insurance Covers Damage to Your MO Home
Whether you own or rent your home, you can purchase insurance for your personal property. Your fire coverage needs will be dependent on the type of dwelling you live in and your ownership status. The different policies Missouri residents can use to cover their domestic property include the following:
- Homeowners insurance: If you own a traditional or manufactured house, your home insurance policy will provide you with coverage against fire damage to both the structure of your home and the contents kept within. Many policies will enable you to purchase special riders to cover other items such as ATVs and boats while stored on your property.
- Condo insurance: If you own a condominium or townhouse, your condo association’s master policy will provide coverage if the structure of your building is damaged by a fire. You, however, are responsible for covering everything within your unit. You can expect your condo insurance policy to provide coverage against damage to the interior walls, floors, ceilings and all of the personal property you keep inside your home.
- Renters insurance: If you rent your home, you are not responsible for covering damage to the structure of your building, but if a structural fire damages your personal belongings, you will need to have a renters insurance policy in order to receive compensation. Renters insurance policies, while not usually mandatory, are typically very affordable, so it is a wise decision to secure a policy.
- RV insurance: Those who use their recreational vehicles for long-term housing are likely to keep a lot of valuable personal property inside their RVs. Motor homes are unique in that they may be subjected to fire damage as the result of an overheated engine, a motor vehicle accident, or while parked and serving as a home. Your insurance policy should provide fire damage insurance coverage for all of the ways that this disaster may affect your RV.
Fire Insurance Covers Damage to Your MO-Based Business
If you own a business in the Show-Me State, you would be wise to ensure that your company has protection against fire damage. For home-based businesses, your home insurance policy may provide some coverage, but many insurers will require you to purchase an inexpensive business rider in order to be eligible for compensation against fire damage to your business equipment.
A business insurance policy will provide fire insurance coverage for damage to your business inventory, furnishings, décor, equipment and other property. If you own the building where you conduct business, your policy will also enable you to cover the building’s structure.
You can further protect your Missouri-based business from fire-related financial losses by including continuation of income coverage with your policy. This way, if you must halt operations temporarily or close temporarily while you repair or rebuild key business components, you can still count on a measure of income so that you can continue to pay your creditors and salaried employees until you are able to resume normal business.
Fire Insurance Covers Damage to Vehicles in Missouri
Missouri state minimum auto insurance includes liability coverage only. Therefore, if you decide to save money by buying a policy that merely meets state requirements, you will not have comprehensive coverage for your vehicle. Comprehensive insurance, or “other than collision” insurance, covers damage sustained by your vehicle when it is not in use.
Thus, if a fire destroys your garaged vehicle, you will not be able to get compensation for your losses unless you have included comprehensive coverage with your policy. In addition to fire damage, this insurance also covers damage caused by vandalism, theft, falling objects and severe weather, including floods. If you financed your vehicle and you are still making payments on it, you likely have comprehensive coverage, as lenders usually require it.
You may also want to protect your other vehicles against fire. If you own a boat, snowmobile, ATV or other recreational vehicle, you may be able to receive some compensation through your home insurance if fire damages those vehicles while they are stored on your property. However, if this damage occurs off your property, such as while your boat is in dock, you may have no recourse unless your property is covered by its own comprehensive insurance policy. If you have invested a lot of money in your recreational pastimes, you may want to be sure that you have fire and other types of insurance for your equipment.
How Much Fire Insurance Should Missouri Residents Have?
Many fires are contained quickly and do not do a great deal of damage. However, some fires blaze out of control in a matter of minutes, and when this happens, property damage can be complete and unforgiving. When you purchase insurance for your home or business, you will want to be certain that you are purchasing coverage that includes enough fire insurance to enable you to completely start over without suffering a significant financial loss.
When deciding how much contents coverage to buy, be sure to consider everything you own, from appliances to clothes to kitchenware. You may be surprised by how much property you actually own, especially if you have been in your residence for a long time.
Many home and business policies will permit you to choose between actual value and replacement cost coverage. Although replacement cost coverage is more expensive, it will provide you with the full amount of compensation necessary to replace lost or damaged items with brand new ones, regardless of the depreciated value of the items you lost. This can save you a great deal of money, particularly if many of your belongings are worn and outdated.
Compare Quotes on Fire Insurance
You can turn to independent insurance agents in the Trusted Choice® network for help reviewing the fire coverage included with all of your currently held insurance policies. If they find deficiencies in your coverage, these agents can help you find competitively priced policies that do meet your coverage needs.
There are several Trusted Choice agents with offices in Missouri. Contact a local agent to get more information and to start reviewing fire insurance quotes for the Missouri policies that are appropriate for you.