The threat of large wildfires continues
Although wildfire season varies geographically – usually peaking in August in the U.S. – some experts say it has become essentially year-round in parts of the country, driven in part by encroaching development and a buildup of fuel.
“Not only is wildfire an annual concern, it is growing its footprint across the United States,” said Andy Hendrix, SVP, head of Argo Property, noting that in 2018, wildfire and/or controlled burns in all 50 states accounted for over 10 million acres burned.
Wildfire insurance: Is your business covered?
Argo Property primary and excess policies include wildfire and other disaster coverage for various types of commercial properties, including retail shopping centers, office buildings, hotels and habitational properties.
Hendrix recommends business owners follow the tips below to gauge whether their current policies provide enough coverage.
- Have your property appraised regularly to be sure it is sufficiently insured in the event that you need to rebuild, replace or repair.
- Coverage should be high enough to cover all assets in the event of loss. Include computers and other equipment, as well as inventory, furniture and records when calculating assets.
- Make sure your policy includes coverage for business interruption (or living expenses for individuals) to cover costs while in the rebuilding phase.
- Consider valuation coverage options such as margin clauses, agreed amount or blanket coverage to more adequately protect buildings and business personal property.
Be proactive to minimize property risk
Argo suggests businesses in wildfire-prone areas take these steps to reduce the threat to their property.
- Keep property cleared of brush.
- Cut back landscaping substantially from buildings and any structures.
- Use fire-resistant materials for construction and landscaping.
- Install indoor and outdoor fire sprinkler systems.
- Make sure firefighters can access your property.
Get more Argo Property coverage insights at argolimited.com/property.