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Business question and answer for Aug. 14, 2012

Business question and answer
by Paula Burkes Published: August 14, 2012


with John Wiscaver

Tips given for avoiding losses

during wildfires in the future

Q: Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties following wildfires that burned more than 93,400 acres across the state. How can Oklahomans avoid incurring great losses in future wildfires?

A: To lessen your exposure to wildfires, clear dry brush away from your home and all structures. Keep plants, bushes, trees and lawns watered and maintain a safe distance between your home and vegetation. Clean guttering to keep it free of leaves and debris that can quickly ignite from flying embers.

Q: How can insurance protect people from the financial loss of wildfires?

A: Wildfires are considered the same as any fire loss and covered under most homeowners policies. Homeowners insurance covers the cost to repair or rebuild your home and also may cover the loss of the contents in your home. The cost to replace your home may be much higher than what you paid for it, so you should check your policy and update it accordingly. Most homeowners insurance policies provide supplementary coverage for additional living costs during the reconstruction of your home, such as hotel and restaurant bills. It's important to work with an insurance agent to ensure you have the right coverage to meet your needs.

Q: What preparation should be done before a loss such as wildfires to ensure you receive appropriate compensation for your claim?

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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