Media Contact: Erin Klug Public Information Officer (602) 912-8456
For Immediate Release April 28, 2004
Get an insurance check up before you need it! Fire Prevention Pays Off
The yearly threat of wildfires can serve as a timely reminder to review your homeowners and business insurance policies to ensure sufficient coverage for your property and belongings in the event of a loss.
Arizona residents annually face potential loss of homes and businesses from a variety of natural disasters, including thunderstorms, monsoons, hail, microbursts and wildfires. Last year alone, insurers paid $80 million to victims of the Aspen fire on Mt. Lemmon and in 2002, insurers paid $120 million in losses to the victims of the Rodeo/Chediski fires.1
"Regrettably, the Arizona Department of Insurance (ADOI) heard from families after the fires, when it was too late, and they discovered their insurance coverage was inadequate," said Christina Urias, Director of Insurance. "The ADOI encourages all home and business owners, especially those in wooded areas, to get a preventative insurance check-up before the wildfires strike this season."
Getting an Insurance Check Up
An insurance "check-up" is a periodic review of your coverage, Ms. Urias explained. "An annual review of insurance coverage can help prevent unpleasant surprises after a loss occurs. We recommend property owners read their policy, contact their insurance agent, or company, and set a date to review and analyze their coverage needs."
Homeowners insurance usually covers the structure of your home as well as your personal belongings. Director Urias suggests property owners periodically consider the value of their property, and if any improvements (remodeling, additions, etc.) have been made, or if youíve acquired significant new personal property (new tools, furniture, appliances, etc.), an insurance check-up is highly recommended.
Other ADOI suggestions include verifying your propertyís square footage with your insurer and documenting the exterior appearance of your property and its contents with photographs or, a home video tour (and store the video in a safe place, away from home!). "An inventory of your personal belongings will help determine the level of coverage you need and will greatly facilitate claim settlement in the event of a loss," said Director Urias.
ADOI has a Homeownersí Insurance Check Up Checklist pamphlet to help you get started. Just visit the ADOI website or call (800) 325-2548 to request a copy.