Fire insurance on the minds of homeowners after seeing devastating fires across California

Policy holders advised to review coverage

Fire insurance on the minds of...

ORCUTT, Calif. - Devastating fires continue to rip across California, burning hundreds of homes and destroying entire neighborhoods. 

The images from the destruction are terrifying and heartbreaking. They're also bringing a common reaction from homeowners on the Central Coast.

"It causes people to come in and call to go over the coverages to make sure they have the proper coverage in place," said State Farm insurance agent Donna Randolph.

Randolph notes she's fielding additional calls from clients wanting to review policies and double-check what their coverage provides.

"When it comes to fire, homeowners insurance will typically cover coverage for the structure itself, your contents, your additional living expenses for your food and lodging," said Randolph.

The Santa Maria Valley-based agent highly recommends policy holders should document personal belongings.

She adds it's easy to do, especially with a cell phone.

"Taking videos with phones and capturing that and putting that on your cloud or however you can preserve, that would be a great thing to do," Randolph said. "If that big thing does happen to you and your family, you can say, okay, look at this. I have all of this captured and it sure makes thing so much easier for you at the end of the day."

Particularly important according to Randolph as family photos, financial documents and other key personal information.

"You're going to be lost when those things are missing," said Randolph. "You're going to be devastated, so having that will make a difference."

Another important suggestion Randolph adds is to have a plan in place should a fire break out or an evacuation order come in.

She believes people should already have a list of personal items they will want to take out of their home at a moments notice.

"Having something, maybe a bin that you put everything," said Randolph. "If something happens, I want to grab these. These are the heirlooms, these are the priceless mementos that I want to get out of here if something were to happen and you were to grab-and-go." 

Another recommendation is to simply have a personal, one-on-one relationship with your insurance agent.

Randolph said it's not something every homeowner has, but is important when a claim is needed to be made.

She adds knowing your agent can make the difficult and often-times complicated process after a fire much easier to handle

Should the unthinkable happen, Randolph has one more important piece of advice for someone who has just experienced a fire in their home.

"They need to call their agent right now, put in a claim and begin the process," said Randolph.

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