Wildfires are common in Southern California. California maintains a fire hazard severity zone map that is kept up to date by the state to provide general information regarding the possible areas for wildfires (http://www.fire.ca.gov/). During wildfires, the local and or state governments organize mandatory evacuations to remove humans and domestic animals from the danger zone. It is important to comply with the mandatory evacuation orders. During the mandatory evacuations, most people do not have enough time to take their personal belongings. That is why it is important to be prepared for wildfires by preparing a proper inventory of personal belongings in the house.

Wildfires cause billions of dollars in property damage. Some wildfires occur naturally, but some are caused by human activities.

Wildfires may cause fire, smoke, soot and ash damage to the property. If a residence or business was exposed to fire, smoke, soot and ash damage due to the wildfires; a proper inspection and evaluation of affected areas may be needed (for both the structure and content). The smoke, soot and ash related damage can be both visible and invisible to the naked eye. An air quality expert, a hygienist, or a restoration company technician may be able to conduct an inspection and evaluation of possible smoke, soot and ash damage related damage due to the wildfires. If the property sustained fire damage, an evaluation by a licensed contractor and a structural engineer may be needed in addition.

Some insurance policies may have a special limit or even exclusion for smoke, soot and ash damage that was caused by wildfires. A proper evaluation of the insurance policy may be needed to determine if the policy has the right coverage for this type of a loss.

Wildfire coverage is extremely important for properties that are located in the brush areas.

A public adjuster may assist the policyholder in dealing with their insurance company and any other parties who are involved in the claims process and the repairs.

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