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.

What Will Happen if My Home Insurance Lapses?

Buying a home in California is always a big investment. When you decide to purchase a home, you will need to make sure that you have insurance in place to protect it and you. While most people will have protection in place when they buy the home, the policy could lapse if you stop paying. If your home policy does lapse, a few different things could happen to you and your insurance.

Loss of Coverage

If your home insurance policy coverage lapses, the first thing that will likely happen is that you will lose your coverage. Home insurance for people in the Napa, CA area provides a lot of very valuable coverage including property damage coverage, liability protection, and personal asset coverage. If you stop making payments on your home insurance policy or if it matures, you could be found to have no coverage when you need it the most.

Force Pay by Lender

If your home insurance policy lapses, there is a chance that your lender could force pay it for you. In most situations, your lender will require you to escrow your home insurance payments. However, if you fall behind on payments and there is no escrow, the lender will likely pay additional money out of its pocket to make sure your policy stays active as it will protect their collateral. You then will be charged a fee and your loan could be forced into default.

When you have more questions about home insurance, or would like to find a new policy, contacting the Wine Valley Insurance Services company could be beneficial. Wine Valley Insurance Services will be able to help Napa, CA area homeowners find a policy that works for them and also keeps them in full compliance with their loan. We also are happy to serve the insurance needs of those in Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Washington, and Idaho. Reach out to our offices for more information.

Does Home Insurance Cover Flooding Caused By Sprinklers?

There are a lot of questions out there about what is and what is not covered by homeowners insurance. At Wine Valley Insurance Services, serving the greater Napa, CA area, we want to answer as many of these questions as we possibly can. Flooding is one of the most misunderstood aspects of home insurance. If your home was flooded with your sprinklers, you might wonder if this type of flooding is covered by your flood insurance or your homeowner’s insurance. Here is the answer. 

Your Home and Floods

Flooding that is caused by things such as pipes in your home and sprinklers outside of your home is typically covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. As such, if a sprinkler head breaks and water floods into the siding of your house or your sprinklers run too long and flood your basement, homeowners insurance would cover the damage done by the sprinkler.

Flood insurance typically covers flooding that occurs as the result of a storm, such as heavy rains and hurricanes. As such, if a hurricane caused your sprinklers to become damaged, and in turn, that leads to the flooding in your home or the flooding that caused the damage to the exterior of your home, this would be covered by your supplemental flood insurance, rather than homeowners insurance. If you do not have a supplemental flood policy, you would be responsible for the damage to your home. 

When you are looking to purchase homeowners insurance in the greater Napa, CA region, let Wine Valley Insurance Services assist you. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and work to find you the right insurance policy for your needs. Contact us today to get started.

Buying Home Insurance

In today’s real estate market, homes located in the beautiful Napa, CA area in need of insurance can contact Wine Valley Insurance Services for policy advice, premium quotes, and seasoned guidance.

Home Insurance covers private residences by combining certain personal protections like:

  • Losses to one’s home and contents
  • Loss of use
  • Loss of personal items
  • Liability insurance for accidents that may happen in your Napa, CA neighborhood

One’s residence is typically one of the most valuable financial assets one will ever own. Yet, owning a home includes risk. A homeowner must contend with the possibility of loss. The loss could be minor, such as a broken window, or perhaps something more serious, like an entire loss of the home due to fire. The reason to carry home insurance is to protect against such potential financial losses.

Although homeowner‘s Insurance is not typically mandated by law, if one has a mortgage, a lender will frequently require the buyer to purchase homeowner’s insurance. The home itself is referred to as the "dwelling" for insurance purposes.

Homeowner’s Insurance covers damages; home warranties cover mechanical breakdowns. Most consumers would never anticipate that a standard homeowner’s insurance policy would cover the basement’s wine cooler, should it ever stop working. However, many homeowners mistakenly assume that the large, vital systems in the home will be covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, that is simply untrue. Home insurance does not cover mechanical breakdowns.

Wine Valley Insurance Services can help you find the home insurance policy to meet your needs and to provide a combination of custom-made coverage, quality service, and fair pricing. Contact us today.

Is Your Home Prepared for Summer?

With summer fast approaching, now would be a good time to start preparing your Napa, CA home for the influx of family and friends over the summer holidays. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

Professional Cleaning

Take advantage of summer discounts to have your windows, carpets, and gutters professionally cleaned before bringing in visitors this summer. Many companies offer discounts for cleaning services at this time of year, enabling you to benefit from a cleaner environment at reduced costs.

Service AC

Have your AC serviced to ensure it’s in good working condition before temperatures begin to climb. If your unit has become old and outdated, consider upgrading to a new model so you and your friends can enjoy a cool and comfortable home environment. Check and clean ceiling fans, as well. Doing this can help keep energy costs down.

Touch-up Painting

Do a little touch-up painting on doors and walls to cover scuff marks and scratches. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to enhance your interior decor.

Revive Landscaping

Trim overgrown trees and shrubs and take the time to spruce up your yard. An attractive yard will give your home a more welcoming touch. If you’re having problems with ants or other insects, spray your home’s exterior to get rid of them before they overrun your property.

Update Home Insurance

Talk to your Wine Valley Insurance Services agent in Napa, CA about updating your home insurance policy. Make sure you have adequate property damage and liability coverage to cover unforeseen accidents that may occur while visitors are on your property. By discussing home insurance options and costs with a representative from Wine Valley Insurance Services, you can have greater assurance that you’re fully protected against any eventuality that may arise.