For Consumers

Wildfires and homeowner insurance

Your insurance

Whether your home is located in a suburban, city or rural area, Washington state homeowners need to be aware of potential wildfires during drought-like conditions. When it's hot and dry, everywhere becomes a fire threat. Also, in rural isolated areas, firefighters may have a hard time getting to those homes and access to water sources.

Homeowner insurance should cover all fires (PDF, 137.22 KB), including wildfires, unless the policyholder intentionally sets the fire.

Make sure you have adequate insurance to cover your property and possessions.

Homeowner tips

Review your policy – Check your coverage regularly to make sure it includes adequate replacement coverage, in the event you suffer a loss.

Make sure you have enough insurance coverage.

Buy special coverage to protect specific valuables, such as jewelry, fine art, and other items that may have limited coverage under your homeowner policy.

Prepare a household inventory (PDF, 1MB) (www.naic.org).

Insurers may require your home to meet certain criteria - insurers base homeowner coverage and rates on certain assumptions that include:

  • Fire protection available to your home, such as fire hydrants and the location of the fire department nearest to you.
  • Whether your home has electricity and running water, etc.

Protect your home and limit your home's fire exposure by:

  • Clearing a natural firebreak between your home and outbuildings, trees, bushes, leaves, wood piles, uncut fields and flammable materials.
  • Installing a water pump or having access to a nearby water source if your in a rural area without fire hydrants,
  • Using fire-resistant roofing or building materials.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (www.ready.gov) has more information on how to protect yourself and your home from wildfires.