Is your home valued correctly?

For people living in wildfire areas, now is the time to examine your home insurance, before the wildfire season starts. Is your home value up-to-date? The insurance answer is to check to be sure your policy has been updated and that your current reconstruction value is declared.

It is up to you to inform your agent or broker of changes to your home policy. If you have added a hot tub to that condo unit or rebuilt the garage, then you need to be sure that you have coverage in case of a claim.

There are concerns in forested areas of fire. You can do the maintenance to reduce the risk. Clear away any debris or vegetation. You should have a metal or fire retardant roof if sparks can leap from the trees to your home. Better yet, have a fire break area around your home.

The B.C. interior had wildfire claims over $200 million in 2003, that caused 50,000 people to evacuate and claims were placed for more than 200 destroyed homes near Kelowna and Kamloops.

Once the fires start, it is likely that you will not be able to purchase insurance. The cow is "out of the barn", and you will find yourself trying to deal with the financial hardship on your own.

Part of the property insurance package is additional living expense. If you are forced to evacuate your home, then you will have compensation for similar accommodation up to the limit of your policy.