07 Oct 2020

Do I have insurance for storm damage and wildfires?

After a historic wind storm blasted its way through the Salt Lake valley and then weeks later, wildfires threatened homes in the same area, many Utahns are left wondering if their insurance covers storm damage and wildfires.

Storm damage as an uprooted tree has landed on a house after a wind storm

Historic wind storm

The wind storm tore through the area, leaving a lot of damage in its wake. The governor of Utah even declared a state of emergency after assessing the damages from Salt Lake City to Logan. The wind left thousands of trees uprooted – many damaging homes, fences and property. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of people left without power for days at a time. Many were left wondering if they were going to have to pay for all of the repairs out of pocket.

The first step after a storm

The first step in dealing with a situation like this is to assess the damage done. Make recordings, such as videos and photos, as well as writing down everything you can. You also need to make a distinction between the damage on your own property and the damage to the city or county’s property.

Publicly or privately owned

City-owned trees are those planted in park strips, medians, parks, and other City property. If you had trees fall down across your street or sidewalk, that will fall under the city or county you live in. That means the city or county will almost always help with tree removal because that is public land that needs to remain accessible for everyone.

uprooted tree after a wind storm

Submit a claim

After documenting the damage from the storm as well as you can, you should submit a claim to your insurance company. Make it as detailed as you can. After you submit a claim, an adjuster will come out and give you an estimate of what it will cost to replace or repair your damaged property. Although it’s been an incredibly busy time for claim adjusters and tree removal crews, many Diversified customers in the Salt Lake valley have had positive experiences where their repairs have been covered by the insurance companies in a timely manner. This speaks to the importance of partnering with insurance companies who support their policyholders in times of need. Not all insurance companies are created equal.

Many times the answer to the question, “Will my insurance cover storm damage?” is – it depends. The most important thing to know is that yes there are insurance programs that cover storm damage. You can find out if you have these coverages by talking with an insurance broker. At Diversified Insurance Group, we have a Personal Lines team that can help you. This team will look at your specific assets and needs, then come up with a customized insurance plan for you. It will include an analysis of how much coverage you might need and which insurance company would be the best fit.

What about wildfires?

a wildfire comes close to homes

What about wildfires threatening your home? Is there anything you can do from an insurance perspective about wildfires? The answer is yes. You simply need to check with your broker to see if your policy is enrolled in wildfire protection services. With many insurance companies, this is a free program to become enrolled in, you just need to fill out a form.

Chubb, one of the insurance companies Diversified works with, provides the following wildfire protection services:

  • Before wildfire season: Onsite wildfire hazard assessment to recommend ways to protect your home in the event of a wildfire (available upon request).
  • As a wildfire approaches: Working with you to proactively defend your home. Deploying certified fire professionals to your home if a wildfire is threatening your area.
  • After the threat has passed: Return combustible material and other items that may have been temporarily relocated, as well as removing any fire-blocking gel that may have been applied to the home. And, of course, we can help you process a claim if your home sustained any damage.

It is incredibly frightening when a wildfire breaks out in your area and starts coming closer to your home. Knowing that your house is protected can make you see the value in having quality insurance – before you need to use it.

Protect your home and belongings

Protecting your home and belongings brings peace of mind. Instead of panicking about insurance for storm damage or wildfire after the fact, plan now for the unknown. The best thing you can do to find out if you are properly insured is to get a comprehensive review. This is a simple process done by a reputable insurance broker. You can contact Diversified Insurance Group to make sure your home and belongings are protected from natural catastrophes.