Is there a difference between a fire and a wildfire?

The agents at Wine Valley Insurance Services, serving Napa, CA and the nearby areas, have plenty of experience dealing with insurance claims for wildfires in northern California. They want to caution homeowners about the differences between a regular fire and a wildfire. Most home insurance covers fires due to ordinary causes. However, there may not be coverage for wildfires. It is essential to double check home insurance policies to make sure that any damage to a home caused by wildfires is covered.

Force Majeure Considerations

“Force majeure” is a legal term used in a home insurance policy that is sometimes also referred to as an “act of God.” The use of this term in creating coverage exclusions and policy limits is something to investigate in any home insurance policies.

For example, let’s say the home insurance policy has a force majeure clause that excludes fires caused by an “act of God.” This means that if a wildfire caused by a lightning strike or due to drought is the reason why a home burns down, the insurance may not cover the damages.

Getting Home Insurance Areas with High Risk of Wildfires

California had over 9,000 wildfires during 2017 that burned up over 1.2 million acres and caused many billions of dollars in insurance claims. This was the most destructive year on record due to wildfires.

In many parts of northern California, homes that are located in areas subject to wildfires now cannot get home insurance, or if they do get home insurance, it has a specific exclusion saying that the policy does not cover wildfires.

If you are unable to get insurance coverage for a home due to the risk of wildfires, it may be available under the California FAIR plan. Contact your agent at Wine Valley Insurance Services in Napa, CA for help with home insurance coverage.