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ACIC Says Rising Temperatures are Wake Up Call for Californians to Prepare and Prevent Fires

July 19, 2013

As Californians brace for another triple digit heat wave, the ongoing fires and high temperatures are an important reminder to take simple steps to prepare your home and family against damage from a wildfire, says the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC).

Sacramento, California (PRWEB) July 19, 2013

ACIC Says Rising Temperatures are Wake Up Call for Californians to Prepare and Prevent Fires

As Californians brace for another triple digit heat wave, the ongoing fires and high temperatures are an important reminder to take simple steps to prepare your home and family against damage from a wildfire, says the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC).

“The ongoing extreme heat is only exacerbating California’s dry conditions. Unlike Arizona and Colorado, California has managed to avoid a wildfire with wide scale property damage so far in 2013. But there is a long way to go in the 2013 fire season,” said Christopher Hackett, director of personal lines for PCI. “It is vital that people follow state laws and take extra precautions to avoid causing preventable fires. It is also urgent that California residents take the opportunity now to mitigate damage around their home by clearing brush and also preparing fiscally by updating your insurance policy and making a home inventory of personal possessions.”

Nearly 3000 fire fighters continue to battle the Mountain Fire in Riverside County with 6,000 residents evacuated. This is just one fire burning in the Golden State. Nationally, 25,570 fires have burned over 2 million acres in 2013.

“Heat waves across the country are reminding residents how brutal Mother Nature can be,” says Hackett. “Homeowners, renters and all residents need to stop putting off wildfire preparedness. Make time now to mitigate risk and ensure your family is financially prepared to come back after a major fire. It is as simple as taking a cell phone and walking through your house to inventory all your possessions. Give your agent or company a call and make sure your coverage is updated after any home improvements.”

Wildfire Financial Preparedness Tips:

Review Your Policy Regularly – Review your property insurance policy with your insurance company or agent. If you have recently remodeled or built a new addition onto your property, be sure to increase the amount of protection to cover the changes to the property. If your home is paid off, be sure to maintain coverage.

Keep an Inventory − To speed claims processing, keep an inventory of your possessions and photograph or videotape them for documentation purposes. After a fire, you will be asked to list the items that were destroyed or damaged along with a brief description that includes receipts, appraisals, and the age, current value, make, model and serial number of items.

Understand Your Policy – Homeowners need to understand the type of policy they have. There are two kinds of policies: A replacement cost policy will generally repair or replace covered personal property damaged by an insured peril. While an actual cash value policy only provides reimbursement for the depreciated value of covered personal property. Coverage for earthquake damage is typically available as an optional endorsement to your homeowners insurance policy. California residents can purchase earthquake coverage from the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Physical Preparedness Tips – For more physical preparedness tips check out http://www.Readyforwildfire.org

Create Defensive Space − For those living in high fire hazard areas, the best protection is defensive space. Clear the land around dwellings of all vegetation. Experts recommend that the cleared area extend at least 30 to 100 feet from the dwelling in all directions.

Remove dead leaves and debris from roof or rain gutters.

Remove wood piles or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows.

Trim trees so branches are a minimum of 10 feet from other threes. Embers are a major cause of spreading fires.

Remove vegetation and items that can catch fire under decks.

Fire Prevention Tips –

Don’t toss burning cigarettes out into dry brush areas.

Be sure campfires are completely put out and doused with water and cannot relight.

Be careful with controlled burns, severe weather can cause a normal burn to become out of control.

Be cautious with mowing equipment on dry brush – one spark can ignite a wildfire.

The Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) is part of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). PCI members write nearly 40 percent of the property casualty business in the U.S. PCI member groups represent more than 1,000 individual companies of all sizes and types writing $196 billion in premium nationwide. ACIC is PCI’s California Voice.

Contact:    Nicole Mahrt Ganley

Phone:    916-440-1116 or cell 916-616-5855

E-Mail:    Nicole.mahrt(at)acicnet(dot)org

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/7/prweb10947189.htm


Source: prweb



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