Wildfires in California have been spreading for almost a week now, and the high winds have only been making it worse, putting California in critical condition.

According to a report on the 16th, the fire in Northern California caused 63 deaths and 631 people are still missing. A wildfire in Southern California spread into the wealthy areas of Los Angeles such as Malibu and Calabasas, which are known to be home to many Hollywood and NBA stars.

“Just this week, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s $60 million home in Hidden Hills, California was saved from the Woolsey fire by a private firefighting force.” Click here to read more about the news.

In a city like Malibu, this kind of policy could range from $2,500 to $8,000 a year depending on many various factors including construction, contents of the home, and many more. These kinds of policies are typically only offered to homes that are worth more than $2 million.

KCAL Insurance represents many A-rated home insurance carriers and is one of the only insurance broker that represents luxury home insurance and high net worth insurance. Contact KCAL to get customized protection for your home today!

Santa Ana Wildfire

October marks the start of fall in Southern California! But this also means wildfire season… with high temperatures and dry weather, wildfires becomes more likely and the probability of a fire increases, creating danger in the area.

In September 2015, two wildfires in Northern California caused four deaths, nearly 2000 buildings were burned, and thousands of residents were forced to evacuate their homes.  Insurance claims came out to almost $1 billion!! In October 2007, a wildfire in San Diego, also known as the second largest wildfire in the history of California, resulted in insurance claims of up to about $1.8 billion! According to the American Insurance Institute, statistics show that out of the top 10 fires that resulted in the highest amount of insurance claims, 7 of them occurred in California.

Nice house, nice location! Who would’ve expected there to be so many issues?

Many Chinese individuals enjoy the nice ocean view so many like to buy homes by the mountains. What they might forget to consider is that once they have successfully purchased the house, they realize that they can’t afford to buy the home insurance for their home because it’s too expensive.

Wildfires make the surrounding area dry and flammable, making it even more likely for a fire to start. In many high risk areas, especially where wildfires are likely to occur, many insurance companies don’t want to cover those areas. If you can’t find an insurance company that is willing to insure, you can purchase a special fire insurance plan. If you’d like more details, please feel free to contact our auto and home department for expert advice.  

Fire Alarm 101

Insurance companies typically cover damages caused by the fire based on if the fire department arrived to the scene, how far or close the forest fire was, the conditions of the house, including the quality and conditions of the roof, if smoke detectors are present and identified, if sprinkler systems are installed, etc. These all factor in to determine how good of a condition the house is in and how safe the house is in a situation of catastrophe. Home insurance premiums are very similar to fire insurance premiums.

In the United States, there are usually two types of fire alarm systems—one is a smoke detector that sounds alerts when smoke or fire is detected. Typically, a beeping noise will go off. The other is a kind of fire alarm in which if smoke or fire is detected, the alarm is linked to the fire department which alerts the fire department, allowing them to arrive to the scene of the accident.

Houses nowadays are usually built with smoke detectors and sprinklers.  Once the smoke detector detects smoke, water will automatically spray out of the sprinkler.

Many families don’t realize that when they are cooking, the oil they use might accidentally trigger and set off the alarm, causing the smoke detector to go off. They get frustrated and want to remove and take out the alarm. However, this is very unsafe. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), smoke detectors can reduce the probability of deaths by fire by at least half. Two thirds of fatal fire cases are due to absence of smoke alarms.

If the smoke detector goes off and you smell the smoke at the same time, you need to evacuate immediately. With wildfire season, it’s important to pay attention to the news and familiarize yourself with evacuation methods and strategies.

Applying for claims to remodel the home? Is the insurance company guaranteed to cover?

Some individuals are applying for fire insurance claims and find out after that they are compensated for far less than the loss amount. The reason is that with the increase in labor costs, material costs, and the value of the housing market, the value of rebuilding the house becomes much higher as well.

After applying for a claim, the insurance company will review the expenses required to rebuild the house and the owner can make the decision based on the insurance company’s approved amount. While the house is under construction, it is suggested to keep in contact with the insurance company in case the project budget exceeds the amount of the insurance claim. You should contact the insurance company first and check whether the exceeded amount can be claimed or not.

When your house is under construction, you should keep a record of all your living expenses because your homeowner’s policy includes Loss of Use. Loss of Use covers any additional living expense which means any necessary expense that exceeds what you usually spend.

You’ve worked hard to create the home you are living in, so you want to make sure you have adequate protection against potential risks in the future, especially in high risk areas. Regardless, it’s important to choose the right home insurance policy.

California’s home insurance market is very competitive, so if you feel that your home insurance premiums are too high, feel free to contact us! Our certified insurance agents will provide you with other options that best meets your needs. At KCAL Insurance Agency, our services are free and we offer the most comprehensive protection at the best price!