For residents and visitors to New Mexico, the amount of empty land is inspiring and beautiful. However, due to its significant variances in climate, New Mexico is considered the most extreme weather state in the nation. With everything from storms to wildfires, New Mexico has it all. One of the most devastating events a home can experience is fire. With the incredibly high instance of fires in New Mexico, it's important to consider how fire insurance can help protect your family and your belongings from going up in smoke. Before you search for quotes on how to add fire protection to your homeowners or car insurance policy, however, there are a few things to consider.
Use our independent agent matching system to find the best insurance plan in your area. You tell us what you’re looking for, and our technology will recommend the best agents for you. Any information you provide will be sent to only the agents you pick. We do not sell to third parties.
Recent Fire Facts: Be Prepared
- 372,497 acres were destroyed by wildfire. As of recent years, 220,844 acres have been burned by wildfire.
- Wildfires are of course not the only fires that occur. House fires, camping fires, electrical fires, and storm-related ignitions are just a few of the ways fires can begin, and each has devastating results.
- There was a fire-related fatality every 169 minutes, along with an injury every 30 minutes.
- 85 percent of fire deaths were in homes.
- While cooking is the primary cause of house fires, smoking is the leading cause of fire-related death.
- More than one-third of home fire deaths occur in homes that do not have smoke detectors.
There are practical steps you can take to protect your home from fires, such as installing smoke detectors, nicotine abatement, practicing an escape plan, and cooking safely, but even the most prepared home may still fall victim to a house fire or a wildfire. Having fire insurance can make sure that your family can recover quickly from a devastating blaze.
What is Fire Insurance?
Fire insurance is typically written into your homeowners insurance policy. However, as many people simply "sign on the dotted line," they neglect to read and understand coverage and limits. There are two ways to insure your property against fire: actual cash value, or replacement value. If you've chosen actual cash value, your reimbursement may be less than what it takes to replace the item due to depreciation. Replacement value coverage will make sure that you are able to rebuild and replace your home and items with those of similar cost and value, including appliances, furniture, and clothing.
For example, if your 10-year-old stove was damaged or destroyed by a fire and your policy offers actual cash value coverage, your insurance company would only pay the amount needed to purchase a 10-year-old stove. If you opted for replacement value, however, your New Mexico insurance company would pay the amount needed to replace that old stove with a brand new one. It's important to re-evaluate your insurance coverages once a year to make sure that your belongings are adequately covered, and if necessary, purchase extra policies or coverages.
How Much Fire Insurance is Adequate?
The first step in figuring out whether your fire insurance is sufficient is to take a tally of everything in the home. Make an inventory of everything from socks to draperies, taking photos of expensive items and keeping a log of serial numbers. This can also be used to dictate coverage amounts for other policies, so be sure to keep this handy and up to date. Keep a copy of this inventory in a safe area such as a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box.
If you happen to own expensive electronics, jewelry, or other high-value items, they may exceed the coverage amounts of your fire insurance policy. Typically, fire insurance will cover the building for a certain amount, and then the belongings inside the home for half the amount of building coverage. For example, if your New Mexico home is worth $200,000, your belongings would be covered up to $100,000. Any amount of items above this total would be excluded from coverage, and need to be covered under an additional policy.
Are Some Fires Not Covered by Insurance?
There are circumstances where fire insurance will not cover damages, including fires set by family members (other types of arson, however, are covered), war, neglecting to have smoke detectors installed, or refusing call the fire department are just a few of the exclusions most policies include. This list is not exhaustive, however, as there are many different providers and policies, and a variety of deductibles and coverage limits for fire insurance policies in New Mexico.
What About My Car or Boat?
While your New Mexico home and its belongings are covered by a fire insurance policy, your car, boat, RV, or other items may not be. Many times, these items will require a separate policy to cover fire damage. For a vehicle, usually, comprehensive coverage will cover any fire damage that the homeowner's insurance doesn't cover, however, every policy is different. It's important to discuss these items and coverages with your agent.
How to Get Fire Insurance in New Mexico
When you're measuring your fire risks and seeking out quotes for fire insurance coverage, whether for home, auto, or business, it helps to have a guide. Getting adequate fire insurance coverage is important, especially in New Mexico, where frequently fires happen. Whether your coverage isn't enough, or you need some help deciding if you should increase your coverages, an agent is ready and available to help you get peace of mind and ensure that your precious belongings are covered in case of a fire.
Contact a knowledgeable agent today and find out how they can help you protect your home and lifestyle against fire.