How Important Is Having Additional Fire Insurance?

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  • These days, many Americans are understandably conscious of the kinds of costs they face for their various types of insurance coverage, and that is certainly true of their home insurance in particular, just because of its larger price tag. However, it seems that many people are still dramatically underinsured in this regard, and that can cause big problems when they have to file a claim. For this reason, it might be prudent for insurance agents to do all in their power to explain the ins and outs of clients’ policies and talk about what they can do to boost their protection.

    One kind of insurance add-on that many homeowners across the country don’t have is additional protection for fire damage, according to a report from the consumer finance site Nerdwallet. A huge fire in the state of Washington last summer that damaged more than 350 homes caused major problems for affected residents, because only a little more than half of those affected were even insured. Of those that were, at least half didn’t have enough coverage. The shortfalls in those cases exceeded 40 percent about half the time.

    What can be done?
    Wildfires have seemingly become more common in many parts of the country, but homeowners there haven’t done much to protect themselves, the report said. Moreover, certain parts of the country run higher risks at different points in the year. For this reason, consumers may need to be vigilant more than they think when it comes to buying the right kinds of coverage.

    “At this time of year California has very high fire danger, but it’s decreasing in other parts of the west,” Philip Dennison, a professor in the geography department at the University of Utah, told the site. “You can also have very large fires in Texas and Oklahoma in the middle of the winter, so it depends on when the fire season is at its highest danger point.”

    Agents who can do their best to explain to consumers the value of having the right kinds of coverage for their specific risk factors will likely be those that can cultivate the best ongoing relationships. That, in turn, can lead to high customer satisfaction, even beyond the ability to simply find those consumers the occasional discount. However, mixing lower costs with a good working relationship will likely be key to ensuring retention rates remain as high as possible.

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