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Insurance Matters

Bruce Sackrison's Insurance Matters: Homeowners insurance: important points to ponder

From the Bruce Sackrison's Insurance Matters series
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Bruce Sackrison

Bruce Sackrison is a Napa Valley Register columnist who will write about property and casualty insurance matters.

If you’ve lived in California for any period of time, you know that there are several “what if” scenarios that creep into your routine, and for the most part, it’s rarely a critical thought that comes to mind.

But as we have all witnessed in the last year, wildfires have taken their toll on communities throughout the state.

That being said, I would like to challenge you to be intentional about reviewing, assessing and evaluating your individual Homeowners Insurance at least twice a year, just to make sure you are covered in the event of a crisis or natural disaster.

Points to ponder

  • Is your policy up to date with your home’s current value?
    Remember to maintain regular and periodic communication with your provider or Broker when you make improvements to your property. These details will make a big difference if you ever need to file a claim, and you want to make sure you are properly covered.
  • Have you inherited or added any valuables to your belongings?
    Be sure to review the content coverage of your policy to further ensure that it is consistent with your current assets.
  • Check with your agent/broker to make sure that you have an extended replacement cost on your policy.
    In the event of needing to rebuild your home after a natural disaster, you want to make sure that your policy has an extended replacement clause as the typical policy has limits, and this coverage will kick in when those unforeseen charges appear.
  • Leverage online resources to make sure your provider is a legitimate California admitted carrier?
    Please be intentional about reviewing the background and credibility of your provider or broker. You want to make sure that your coverage model is accurate and in-force further ensuring a seamless process as you recover and potentially rebuild after a crisis or natural disaster.

How you can prepare

Once you have reviewed your individual policy, you want to make sure you are taking steps to minimize any vulnerabilities on and around your property that can prove instrumental in mitigating any high-risk of damage that may be out of your immediate control.

  • Clear the brush around our property a minimum of 50 feet away from our dwellings.
  • Purchase a long, heavy-duty garden hose, some rakes and shovels to keep strategically accessible around your property.
  • Develop and practice a family emergency plan for exiting your property and communicating with each other in the event that you get separated during the event.
  • Have bags packed for each person in the family and placed in an easy-to-grab location with their individual essentials to include snacks, toiletries, bottled water, sanitizer, etc

Please feel free to call our office for your own personal review and assessment of your Homeowners Insurance Policy. We recognize the importance of insuring your valuables and are intentional about taking steps to further ensure your coverage in the event of a crisis or natural disaster. You can reach us at 707-931-0186.

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Bruce Sackrison is an insurance property and casualty broker affiliated with Professional Insurance Associates. He is at 707-931-0186 or

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