Washington Sleepy Hollow Fire: PCI & NWIC Urge Residents to Seek Safety and Contact Insurers

Homeowners and renters need Wildfire Reality Check to prepare financially and physically for fire danger.

OLYMPIA, WA – June 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Residents of Wenatchee, Washington in the path of the Sleepy Hollow Fire should carefully monitor and heed evacuation warnings. Once evacuated to a safe location, residents should save receipts for evacuation-related expenses and contact their insurance companies immediately through their toll free claims telephone numbers to begin receiving assistance if their home is damaged, said the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

Contact Insurer

“A fast moving wildfire like this is overwhelming. After making sure you and your family are safe, the first step to putting the pieces back together is contacting your insurance company or agent through their toll free telephone number. This phone call will begin the recovery process if your home is damaged by the wildfire,” said Kenton Brine, PCI assistant vice president. “Residents evacuated by the Sleepy Hollow Fire should remember to save their receipts for hotels and meals, as these expenses may be eligible for reimbursement.”

The National Interagency Fire Center reports continued drought and dry conditions have caused 27,590 fires nationally and burned 2,048,899 acres so far in 2015. The National Fire Preparedness Level is at 3 currently and major fires are burning in 8 states. As of 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time today, the Sleepy Hollow fire has destroyed an estimated 24-28 homes and several other structures and torched more than 3,000 acres, fire officials report.

“As law enforcement and fire officials reminded residents this morning, clearing away brush and potential fire fuel is vital to saving lives and property. Residents not living in the current fire zone should be reminded by this tragedy to prepare their properties and their finances for wildfire,” said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. “Homeowners and renters need to do an insurance check up on their policy annually. Homeowners should update their policies to reflect any remodeling or upgrades, review your policy with your agent or company and compile a home inventory detailing personal possessions. Also, create a family evacuation plan and clear 100 feet of defensible space around your home.”

Resources for property owners:

Insurance Company Toll-Free Claim Phone Numbers (http://bit.ly/PCITollFreeNumbers)

Sleepy Hollow Infographic – http://bit.ly/WildfireRecoveryPCI

After the Fire Recovery Guide (http://bit.ly/AftertheFireGuide)

Northwest Wildfires – Protecting Yourself (http://www.nwinsurance.org/Wildfire.pdf)

Wildfire Reality Check – Are You Prepared Financially?
For more tips check out: http://www.readyforwildfire.org/Financial_Preparedness
Do an annual insurance check up with your agent or insurer
Understand your policy – do you have a replacement cost policy up to limits or actual cash value
Update your policy after any home improvements
If your home is paid off, be sure to maintain coverage
Make sure your policy reflects your home’s correct square footage

Wildfire Reality Check – Is Your Property Prepared?
For more tips check out: http://www.readyforwildfire.org/

Create Defensive Space – Clear 30 to 100 feet from home in all directions
Remove dead leaves and debris from roof & rain gutter
Remove wood piles or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows
Trim trees branches a minimum of 10 feet from other threes. Embers are a major cause of spreading fires
Remove vegetation and items that can catch fire under decks.

For more information on Summer Facts and Tips you can follow @PCIAA on Twitter and @NWInsuranceInfo

NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.

Nicole Mahrt
916-440-1116
nicole.mahrt (at) pciaa (dot) net

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