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Fire insurance is on the minds of many in the Central Valley


After seeing the devastation from the wildfire across the state, a lot of people want to know how they can protect themselves. As wildfires burn uncontrolled destroying homes and wiping out neighborhoods. Fire insurance is on the minds of many here in the Central Valley, like Janice Ledge-Wood who lives in East Fresno, according to our affiliate KMPH.

"There is not much I can do if the house burns down," said Ledger-Wood.

She says she has taken precautions to protect her home and possessions.

"I will just make sure I have my insurance a papers in a fire proof box or at work or something, “said Ledger-Wood.

After seeing all of the terrible destruction from the fire, people are going over their insurance policies. Insurance agent, Chris Souza has been working with clients in the Valley for the past 15 years. He says it’s important to know what type of coverage you’re getting before buying insurance.

"A lot of times people pay for coverage and it is not really what it is meant to cover. Sitting down with an expert is the best thing to do. Don't just buy something generic across the board because every family is different," said Souza.

Agents also recommend you document what you have at home.

"A lot of time I will advise clients, the best thing to do is take pictures with your cell phone. Take pictures of the different rooms because part of what will happen with the insurance is that they will ask you to make a list of all of the items that are destroyed," said Souza.

"I took a video camera and made a DVD of all of the things that were valuable in my house. I keep a copy and I sent one to the insurance agent," said Ledger-Wood.

As for those still on the fence about being insured. Souza tells us it’s better to be proactive than reactive in case disaster strikes.

"I hear all the time. I don't have that much or I don't have any electronics. Just for guys buying three pair of underwear is $10.00. Replacing clothes is really the most expensive thing. If you had something happening like what's happening now, you may not even have a pair of underwear for tomorrow,” said Souza.

One of our news partners in the Bay Area is reporting so far, nearly 1900 homeowner insurance claims and more than 700 auto insurance claims have been made by residents to State Farm because of those wildfires.

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