Home insurance: a topic no one really likes to think or talk about but a true necessity when something or everything goes wrong. Without home insurance, many accidents could lead to an extreme burden for the homeowner and family. Making sure you have appropriate and correct coverage can help in the avoidance of financial disasters. Dealing with insurance can be a daunting task but making sure you have the best policy for your situation is important when faced with potential, uncontrollable natural disasters.
The recent Museum Fire in Flagstaff that took place on our beloved San Francisco peaks was the first instance in a while that our community was threatened by loss of property by wildfire. Remembering that we are surrounded by dry forest and brush in the summer months is key to forecasting what home insurance updates you may need to make. In most cases, damage caused by wildfire is included in home insurance but it’s important to check your policy when it is time for renewal. By assuring wildfires are still in your policy, your summer will become more enjoyable and less worrisome.
While the Museum Fire cannot pose the threat of fire damage anymore, it is now causing fear for a different natural disaster in Flagstaff. The “Fire Scar” left in the wake of the wildfire increases the probability of flooding to major neighborhoods, even during this dryer monsoon season. According to The Daily Sun, “The future concern for residents in the Mount Elden Estates, Grandview, Linda Vista, Paradise Way, and Sunnyside is that the fire has severely burned the soils in the Dry Lake Hills, hardening it into a substance that has been compared to glass. Any rainwater that hits this glass-like soil will not absorb and instead plunge straight toward these communities below.”
The city and county have been working together to mitigate the potential damage caused by flash flooding. Flagstaff has worked together to fill and place hundreds of thousands of sandbags in the communities mentioned above. Many community information sessions have been held and there is an ample amount of information on the county website. While they have been working tirelessly to create plans on how to protect the community, a large and unpredictable storm is all it would take to wash away the sandbags and barriers. Make sure to stay informed about current weather conditions in your area by checking the Coconino County website and prepare your home in advance for damage caused by flash floods. Check out our blog, 15 Ways to Prevent Water Damage, for tips on how to protect your home from potential flood damage.
Unfortunately, home insurance companies don’t typically want to include coverage for natural disasters that are very likely to happen and cause extreme damage. Flagstaff’s case, that includes flood and earthquake protection and might include wildfire protection, depending on the company and policy. In this case, wildfire flooding is a natural disaster that is not covered by most insurance policies anywhere. An Arizona law has made it possible for homeowners to purchase flood insurance and have it in immediate effect. In the past, homeowners would have to wait 30 days before the insurance was in effect and this sometimes resulted in flood damage occurring within this waiting period. Many don’t think about the need for flood insurance until it is upon them or they have been warned by local forecasters. With that being said, even with this new law, it is still necessary for the homeowner to have the insurance before flood damage occurs because it will not cover any previous damage. If you see the flash flood alert pop up on your mobile device, it’s safe to say that it is too late to get it. We encourage neighborhoods in danger to get flood insurance now before it is too late.
Even if you do your due diligence and get the policy that should cover it all, Free Advice Legal has a piece warning homeowners of loopholes created by insurance companies. “Keep in mind that situations may arise in which a natural disaster will not be covered by insurance, even if the disaster is listed on your policy. This typically occurs when the insurance company reasonably believes that the damage could have been prevented by human action. An extreme example would be if you park your car under a dead tree during a wind storm, the insurance company may tell you that you could have easily prevented what happened to your car, and thus not be willing to cover the damage. Most real-life examples are a lot less obvious than this, so document your situation carefully and be prepared to argue for your coverage just in case.”
If flood or fire damage occurs in your home, make sure to call professionals as soon as possible; our restoration team will have a better chance of saving more of your property if contacted right away. Water can quickly cause a number of long-lasting issues in your home if not removed properly. While it may be tempting to mop up the water or soak it up with old towels, the nonvisible damage will slowly deteriorate the integrity of your home and sometimes place you and your family in dangerous/unhealthy situation. The sooner you call us, the less money you will end up paying in damages and the quicker you will be comfortable again in your home.
For information on what flooding dangers we could expect after the Museum Fire and what to do if your home takes on water, check out our blog, Monsoon Season 2019: What You Should Know About Flooding in Your Home.
Mammoth Restoration is the most trusted name in emergency restoration services celebrating 15 successful years of business in northern Arizona. Whether you are in need of flood damage restoration, water damage restoration, pack out services, mold remediation services, carpet cleaning, biohazard cleanup, fire damage restoration, restoration and reconstruction, or trauma cleanup, give us a call at (928) 714-0003.
Mammoth Restoration works with home and business owners, insurance companies, the State of Arizona, various law enforcement entities, and other licensed contractors