Insuring against wildfires
Editor's note: This is a transcript of the audio file.
In 2011, wildfires burnt eight-hundred and fifty five million dollars of insured assets, leaving insurance companies reluctant to insure homes at a high risk for fire. I'm Lucas Wysocki with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.
In recent years, homeowners have had a struggle getting fire insurance. Location and certain characteristics can put a home at high risk for fire. In fact, State Farm will not insure a home with an unrated wood "shake" shingled roof. If your home is considered a tinder box by the insurance company, they can issue you a to-do list of home-improvements to make your house fire-resistant. Fail to comply by a deadline and your coverage goes up in smoke.
The good news is that fire departments and insurance providers are teaming up to help clear risky vegetation and identify other risks. If your house makes the grade with a Class-A non-combustible roof, you could even be rewarded with a discount. Call your insurance company to see what programs they have to make your home safer and save money. For more information on protecting your home, check out Bankrate.com. I'm Lucas Wysocki.