PCI Urges Consumers to Take a “Wildfire Reality Check” this September and be Prepared


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – September 9, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — With a record 8.2 million acres already consumed by dangerous wildfires and the peak of wildfire season is just beginning, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is using National Preparedness Month to remind homeowners and renters that it’s time to take a “wildfire preparedness reality check” to ensure you’re physically and financially prepared.

“As fall approaches, wildfires continue to char millions of acres in several western states but preparation can make a significant difference if your property is impacted by fire,” said Christopher Hackett, PCI director of personal lines policy. “Increasing winds are making conditions even tougher for firefighters and that should be a wakeup call for homeowners and renters. In addition to creating defensible space and preparing your property, homeowners should make defensive moves to protect their wallets by updating your insurance and doing a home inventory. All you have to do is use your smart phone to call your agent or company to update your coverage or video all your personal possession in each room of your home and apartment.”

PCI is partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during National Preparedness Month to offer flood, wildfire, hurricane and power outage preparation and recovery tips throughout September.

“We are entering the most dangerous months in wildfire season,” said Hackett. “This is the time of year when the US has experienced 8 of the 10 most costly wildfires. Wind driven fires are already wreaking havoc in Washington and Oregon, meanwhile the Santa Ana winds have yet to start in Southern California. It is not too late to get prepared. PCI has developed an interactive digital magazine to help consumers get their finances and homes ready and set to go for wildfires. Click on the Wildfire Reality Check Preparedness Guide to learn simple ways to protect your home, family and bank account from wildfires.”

Learn More :

Wildfire Reality Check Preparedness Guide – Digital Magazine

Ten Most Costly Wildfires in the Western U.S. Infographic

Wildfire Reality Check – Are You Prepared Financially?

For more tips check out: http://www.readyforwildfire.org/Financial_Preparedness

Do an annual insurance check up with your agent or insurer
Understand your policy – do you have a replacement cost policy up to limits or actual cash value
Update your policy after any home improvements
If your home is paid off, be sure to maintain coverage
Make sure your policy reflects your home’s correct square footage
Wildfire Reality Check – Is Your Property Prepared?

For more tips check out: http://www.readyforwildfire.org/

Create Defensible Space – Clear 30 to 100 feet from home in all directions
Remove dead leaves and debris from roof & rain gutters
Remove wood piles or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows
Trim trees branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.
Embers are a major cause of spreading fires
Remove vegetation and items that can catch fire under decks.

PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write more than $195 billion in annual premium, 35 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 28 percent of the homeowners market, 33 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 35 percent of the private workers compensation market.

Nicole Mahrt

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