Fires are among the most destructive disasters that Montana residents are likely to face. Though most fires are small and easily contained, some grow rapidly out of control and can lead to thousands of dollars in property damage. If you do not have adequate fire insurance coverage, you may not receive sufficient compensation for the damage to your property. It is, therefore, in your best interest to review your current policies and then to start comparing fire insurance quotes to fully safeguard your Montana property.
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Montana Fire Facts
- There are currently 263 fire departments and stations in the state of Montana.
- Residential fires in this state result in an average of $14,353 in property damage.
- In 2013, firefighters battled 1,722 wildfires in this state:
- Of these, humans caused 959 fires.
- And lightning caused 763 fires.
- Wildfires burned a total of 124,202 acres of land.
How To Tell If You Have Enough Fire Insurance?
Fire insurance, a specialized form of property insurance, is typically part of the policies you already carry. It can compensate you for the costs associated with the repair, reconstruction or replacement of personal property damaged by fire. If you have a homeowners, auto or business insurance policy, you most likely have fire coverage. You just need to ensure that the coverage you have is high enough.
You can check this by reviewing the coverage limits on your currently held policies. The value of your personal property may have gone up significantly since you purchased your policies, in which case, it is in your best interest to increase your coverage.
Fire Insurance Can Cover Damage to Your Montana Home
Residential fires are usually small and easily controlled. As such, when a fire happens, homeowners usually suffer only minor damage to their property. On occasion, however, a fire can quickly spread and become disastrous. When this happens, the destruction can be all encompassing and highly expensive without the proper insurance coverage.
The type of dwelling you live in and your ownership status will define which type of policy you need to purchase in order to get coverage against fire damage:
- Traditional homeowners: Homeowners insurance provides coverage for the structure of your house and its contents. If you have any particularly valuable property, you may need to purchase an additional endorsement in order to achieve full coverage for your personal belongings.
- Condo or townhouse owners: When engaged in cooperative living, you pay dues to a condo association. This association is responsible for purchasing and maintaining a master policy that provides coverage for the structure of your building. To cover your personal property, however, you will need to purchase a condo insurance policy. As with homeowners insurance, you may need an additional endorsement in order to have full coverage for your more valuable belongings.
- Renters: In the event of a fire, your landlord is responsible for covering any damage to the structure of your rental home but is not responsible for covering damage to your personal property. To ensure that you will get compensation, you will need to purchase a renters insurance policy. These policies are typically very inexpensive and can provide you with compensation if a fire damages any of the property you keep in your home.
Regardless of what type of home insurance policy you have, it is a good idea to revisit your coverage every three to five years to ensure that your coverage limits are high enough.
Fire Insurance Can Cover Damage to Your Vehicle
Your car or truck can be an expensive investment. Insuring it against fire damage is a very good idea. There are two ways your vehicle can sustain damage:
- In a collision: If your vehicle catches fire as a result of a collision, repair or replacement costs can be expensive. If you are at fault for the accident, your insurance may cover the costs if you have included collision insurance as part of your policy. If another party is at fault, that party's insurance should cover the costs. In the event that the responsible driver does not have insurance or lacks sufficient coverage to pay for your damage, your own policy may cover you if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
- In a non-collision event: If your vehicle sustains fire damage due to a non-collision event such as a fire in your garage or arson, you may be able to receive compensation as long as you have included comprehensive coverage with your vehicular policy.
Drivers in Montana need only carry liability insurance. Therefore, if you purchased a policy that only meets state requirements, you will not have collision, uninsured/underinsured driver or comprehensive coverage as part of your coverage package. If you want full coverage for your vehicle, you will need to purchase these additional coverage options.
Fire Insurance Can Cover Damage to Your MT-Based Business
If you own one of the more than 110,000 businesses based in Montana, you may have purchased a business insurance policy to protect it. If so, your firm should have fire coverage. As with home insurance, it is a good idea to review your coverage limits every three to five years to ensure that you have enough coverage to handle a total loss. As your business grows, so too will your insurance needs.
In addition, if you have not already done so, you may want to consider adding lost income coverage to your business insurance policy. This additional coverage will provide income sufficient to cover monthly expenses and employee salaries if a fire forces you to halt operations while you complete repairs.
Get Help Reviewing Fire Insurance Quotes in Montana
If you need assistance reviewing your current fire insurance coverage, you can contact one of the many independent insurance agents in the Trusted Choice® network. These agents can help you understand just how much fire coverage you already have in your currently held insurance policies. If there are deficiencies in your coverage, your agent can advise you on getting quotes, improving your coverage and finding a competitively priced policy to meet your coverage needs.
There are several Trusted Choice agents located right here in the state of Montana. Get more information and start comparing fire insurance quotes by contacting an agent with an office near you.