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A Smart Wildfire Preparedness Plan Includes Insurance Protection, Home Inventory

csimt 2009, Insurance, Press Release

What You Need to Know About Insurance Before Wildfire Strikes

HELENA, Mont. – Wildfires, thunderstorms, and hail can strike anywhere in Montana this time of year. That’s why now is a good time for Montana homeowners and renters to prepare their property, make sure their insurance needs are in order, and determine the steps they will need to take after a disaster strikes.

Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen encourages Montanans to take some time to re-familiarize themselves with their policies and to address any questions with their insurance agent or company.

Montana homeowners and renters are urged to compile a comprehensive list of their belongings and their value. This list will help them file an insurance claim after a disaster: http://www.sao.mt.gov/images/index_disaster_section_inventory_checklist.pdf

Creating an inventory list and storing it in a safe location away from home is one of the most basic disaster preparedness steps anyone can take to help protect themselves and their financial future.

A national survey conducted in 2008 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) revealed a significant lack of preparedness among consumers in documenting their belongings.

  • Nearly half, 48 percent, said they did not have an inventory of their possessions.
  • Of those consumers who reported having a checklist, 32 percent had not taken any pictures • And 58 percent had no receipts validating the cost of their possessions.
  • In addition, 44 percent of respondents acknowledged that they had not stored their inventory in a remote location.

For important information about preparing for wildfires, visit http://csi.mt.gov or call the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance at 1-800-332-3148.

The Commissioner’s office also offers Wildfire Preparedness seminars for Montana communities through its speaker’s bureau program. To schedule a presentation in your community call 1-800-332-6148.