Fires can start anytime, anywhere. A simple spark or a malfunctioning appliance can be all it takes to ignite a blaze that can claim your Vermont home, your belongings and even lives. The majority of fires start in the home due to faulty wiring or cooking. It's important to make sure you are doing everything you can in order to prevent fires. This also includes making sure your family has adequate fire insurance, in case a fire does occur. Before you go looking for quotes, read all about what fire insurance is, why to get it and how to get it.
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Vermont Fire Statistics
- Since 2008, there have been more than 150,000 fires in VT.
- There were more than 19,000 fires in 2013 alone.
- The total damage from fires in 2013 is valued at $211,150,440.
- Cooking was the leading cause of all fires in VT in 2012.
- One civilian suffered injuries or died due to fire every 18 minutes in 2012.
Unfortunately, fires happen. They can happen to anyone, at anytime. One of the main ways you can protect your family from fires is to install fire and smoke detectors in every room and keep up with battery changes. Even if the batteries are not dead, it's important to switch them out every six months. Additionally, having fire extinguishers in the kitchen and bedrooms is also important. Finally, having and practicing a disaster evacuation plan is crucial to getting out of your home in case of a fire.
Having sufficient fire insurance in place will also give you peace of mind if there's a fire. Knowing that your belongings are covered will give you time to focus on exiting the premises, instead of running back for important items.
How Do You Get Fire Insurance in Vermont?
Most home insurance policies include fire on their list of covered perils. It's important, however, to make sure that your coverage limit covers all of your belongings. Every insurance carrier offers different coverage when it comes to fires. A typical insurance policy may cover the following:
- Primary dwelling: The fire insurance policy should cover the entire value of the home, including any attached structures. You may have to buy additional insurance for detached structures.
- Personal belongings: Typically, you will have 50 percent of the policy's limit dedicated to personal belongings coverage. If you own a home that's worth $200,000, you will have personal belonging coverage of $100,000. While this might seem like a lot, adding up the cost of appliances, tools and electronics can quickly make this number seem small.
When attempting to get an accurate value of your belongings, it's a wise idea to take a home inventory. In order to do this, you will need to go from room to room, noting all the belongings in each room. Make sure to give each item a value. It's also a good idea to take pictures of expensive items and to write down serial numbers. Once you have each room itemized, add the totals to get a master total of the value of your belongings.
Do You Need Fire Insurance for Your Car, Boat or RV?
Whether it's a car, boat, RV, ATV or hovercraft, if you've opted to have only liability coverage on that item while living in Vermont, you won't have coverage on it if a fire occurs. The only way to have coverage against fire, wind, rain or other perils is to opt for comprehensive insurance coverage, which covers everything other than collision. Your insurance company may require this coverage if you've taken out a loan to purchase the item. Even if you own the item outright, this coverage is important to maintaining the quality and value of your item.
Will Fire Insurance Cover All Types of Fires?
Fires can cause an incredible amount of damage in a short time. While fire insurance will cover most fires, there are some instances where your insurance company will not cover damage caused by a fire. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- If a fire occurs and the owner refuses to call the fire department, insurance will most likely not cover the damage.
- If the home lacks essential fire safety equipment, such as smoke detectors or fire extinguishers, insurance may not cover the damage.
- If the fire's cause is determined to be from gross negligence, insurance may not cover the damage.
- If one of the home's occupants sets the house on fire on purpose, insurance will not cover the damage.
It's important to discuss exclusions with your agent before purchasing your policy to be sure that you are covering your bases in case of a fire.
How Costly Will Your Fire Insurance Quotes Be?
When your insurance agent gives you quotes for fire insurance on your home, they will most likely ask you a long list of questions in order to determine your home's individual fire risk. These questions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Your home's location
- Number of occupants
- Home's age
- Home's building materials
- Value of belongings
- Any attached structures
- Your credit score
- Your driving record
- Driving records for any other occupants, along with their ages
- Any fire equipment currently used in the home
- Any previous claims
All of these questions will help your agent give you accurate quotes for fire insurance in Vermont.
Tips for Filing a Fire Insurance Claim
In the event that a fire does happen, it's important to remember the following when filing a claim:
- The day of the fire
- Time the fire started
- Where the fire started
- Percentage of home that was damaged
- A list of any lost or damaged possessions
- Any receipts or records pertaining to lost items
- Documentation of any repairs or improvements made to the home
- Any paperwork the fire department gives you
Filing a fire insurance claim is much easier if you have this information readily available for your agent.
How Do You Get the Right Amount of Fire Insurance for Your Family?
When determining the appropriate coverage/deductibles for your home and belongings, it's important to have a knowledgeable, experienced insurance agent at your side. A Trusted Choice® agent is always available to help you go over coverage options, explain policies and even help you file a claim in the event of a fire.
Contact a local Trusted Choice agent for more information on getting this important coverage.