Montana Public Radio

State Insurance Commissioner Urges Homeowners To Document Wildfire Costs

Aug 15, 2017

Montana Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale says many homeowners insurance policies can help out with evacuation expenses.

“If you’re subject to a mandatory civil evacuation order many insurance policies will provide extra living expense coverage for up to two weeks,” he says.

Rosendale advises saving all evacuation related receipts.

And he has this advice for anyone who is currently, or who may one day, be threatened by wildfire:

“The most important thing for people to do is to document, document, document. It’s critical,” Rosendale says.

Matthew Rosendale, Montana's Commissioner of Securities and Insurance.
Credit Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Rosendale says insurance agents need a good checklist of a policyholder’s possessions that could be destroyed or damaged in a fire.

If those belongings are destroyed, it’s equally important to take pictures of the damage before anything is cleaned up.

Some homeowner policies even cover indirect wildfire-related problems such as smoke or fire-retardant damages.

Damage to trees, landscaping and fencing typically are not covered by insurance policies.

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