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"It’s fire season. Here are three ways to prepare financially"

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about protecting workers in the home. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Good morning. I’m Rachel Schnalzer, the L.A. Times Business section’s audience engagement editor, back with our weekly newsletter. While the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic are the usual focus of the newsletter, I’m pivoting this week to discuss another crisis facing Californians: the wildfires that plague vast areas of the state. Last week, more than 136,000 people in Northern California were evacuated as a result of the fires. In addition to the loss of human life, experts believe the fires could claim more than 3,000 homes and structures.

With roughly four more months of fire season ahead, it’s a good time to think about how you can prepare financially in case a fire damages or destroys your home. Here are three steps you can take:

Your home insurance may not be enough to cover damage caused in a fire. “Two-thirds of the fire victims that we’ve worked with over the years have found themselves under-insured in one category or more,” says Amy Bach, executive director of the consumer advocacy group United Policyholders. Insurance coverage is divided into “buckets,” Bach explains: a bucket for your dwelling, a bucket for your personal property, a bucket for temporary rent, and so on. Usually, people do not have enough coverage in their dwelling bucket, she says.