Fire is an unforgiving force. A major fire in your home can result in tens of thousands of dollars in property damage. These losses are further exacerbated by expensive clean-up costs. For example, an electrical fire at the Milwaukee County Courthouse resulted in more than $10 million in clean-up costs alone. Fortunately for taxpayers, the county was protected by Wisconsin fire insurance. Are you?
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Wisconsin Fire Statistics
- There are 854 fire departments in the state of Wisconsin
- Fire fighters respond to approximately 1700 fires a year
- The average amount of property loss due to fires in this state is $5,031
- Wisconsin has the 28th highest death rate due to fires at 11 deaths per every one million residents
- Each year, wildfires are responsible for the loss of an average of 59 structures in WI
- People are responsible for 98% of all wildfires that start in this state and burning debris is the #1 cause
What Is Wisconsin Fire Insurance?
Wisconsin fire insurance is a specialized form of property insurance that is designed to cover the costs associated with the repair, reconstruction and replacement of your personal property following damage by a fire. In most cases, fire insurance is included in the policies you already have, including home insurance, business insurance and comprehensive vehicular insurance.
It is important that you know what your currently-held insurance policies do and do not cover so that you can ensure that you are covered against fire damage. If your policy does not provide sufficient coverage, it may be time to raise your coverage limits or to start shopping for a new insurance provider.
Wisconsin Fire Insurance Protects Your Home
Whether you rent or own your home, it is important that you cover your property against the losses you may incur in the event of a fire. You can protect yourself with one of the following policies:
- Homeowners insurance: Home insurance policies provide coverage for fire damage to both the structure of your home and the contents kept within. Most policies will allow you to purchase special riders to provide coverage for other items such as ATVs and boats while they are stored on your property.
- Renters insurance: While your landlord is responsible for covering damages to the structure of your apartment building or rental home, you need to insure your personal property yourself. A renters insurance policy will provide this necessary coverage at a very affordable rate.
- Condo insurance: While your condo association’s master policy will provide coverage for the structure of your building, you are responsible for covering everything within your unit. A comprehensive condo insurance policy will provide coverage against fire damage do interior walls, floors, ceiling and all of the personal property you keep inside your condo.
- RV insurance: Those who use their recreational vehicles for housing are likely to keep a lot of valuable personal property inside. An RV fire can occur as a result of an overheated engine while driving, a motor-vehicle accident, or while you are parked and doing mundane tasks such as cooking. An RV insurance policy provides fire insurance coverage for all of the ways that your motor home may be affected.
Wisconsin Fire Insurance Protects Your Business
If you are a business owner in Wisconsin, you will want to be sure that the investment you have made in your company is properly insured against fire damage.
For home-based businesses, your homeowners insurance may provide you with sufficient although you may be required to purchase special endorsements to cover the costs of lost business materials and equipment.
A business insurance policy will provide you with coverage for any fire damages to your business materials, inventory, equipment and the structure of the building in which your business is housed if it is business-owned. Some businesses types, such as restaurants, have an increased risk of fire damage. If this is the case with your business, you may want to consider purchasing extended fire insurance with your policy for increased protection.
Wisconsin Fire Insurance Protects Your Vehicles
Wisconsin’s state minimum requirements for car and truck insurance include liability coverage only. If you purchase a policy that only meets these requirements, your vehicle will not be protected against non-collision related fire damage. The only way to insure your vehicle against fire is to include comprehensive coverage with your policy. This optional coverage provides compensation for any damages your vehicle may sustain while not being driven. In addition to fire, this includes damages caused by severe weather, floods, falling objects, vandalism and theft.
If you own a boat, snowmobile, ATV or other recreational vehicle, you may be able to receive some compensation if they are damaged by a fire while stored on your property. If this damage occurs off your property, such as in a marina, you may have no recourse unless your property is covered by its own comprehensive insurance policy. If you have spent a lot of money on equipment for these entertaining outdoor pastimes, you will want to be sure that your vehicles are properly insured against all sorts of damages and loss, including those caused by fire.
How Much Wisconsin Fire Insurance Do I Need?
Fires can be extremely destructive. When insuring your home or business, you will want to be certain that you are purchasing coverage in amounts sufficient to allow you to start over without suffering a great financial loss. Be sure to carefully consider everything you own. Some extremely valuable items may require special endorsements in order to be fully covered.
When purchasing contents coverage, you can choose to purchase either actual-value or replacement cost coverage amounts. Replacement-cost coverage is more expensive but it will provide you with the full funding necessary to replace lost or damaged items with new ones, regardless of the depreciated value of your actual belongings. This can be particularly helpful if your furniture, appliances and electronics are very old.
How Do I Know if I Have Enough Fire Coverage?
An independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network can help you review your currently-held insurance policies to ensure that you are property covered against fire damage. If deficiencies in coverage are found, your agent can help you find policies that can meet your coverage needs. These agents have relationships with several different insurance companies so they can eliminate the hassles associated with comparison shopping by providing you with a variety of customized policies at competitive rates.
There are several Trusted Choice agents who have offices in Wisconsin. It should therefore be easy to find an agent conveniently located near your home or business. Contact a local member agent today to get more information and to start reviewing Wisconsin fire insurance quotes for the policies that matter to you.