Check Your Wildfire

Read your insurance policy and make sure you are not only covered in the case of a wildfire breakout caused by negligence but when you are not negligent as well. You may have a gap in your coverage.

Who is Responsible for Wildfire Costs Under the New Agreement With Industry?

On the surface things are different than last year with industry agreeing to pay an extra 12 cents per cubic meter to fund part of the ministry of forests Protection Branch’s operating budget shortfall in exchange for not being generally liable for wildifre fighting costs on their holdings. Since the forest companies are the prime contractor in this situation contractors working for them are similarly exempt. But that exemption is not necessarily applicable if there is gross negligence involved. A forest company saddled with the costs of a wildfire caused by a negligent contractor could sue the contractor. And of course that is why you buy fire insurance.

But what if you are not negligent and a fire breaks out? Some liability insurance policies may only apply when there is proven negligence on the part of the contractor. Read the small print to see if you have coverage in other cases. This could be a problem. If you have signed a contract with a forest company allowing them to assign responsbility for wildfires to you, regardless of whether you’ve been diligent or not, you man not have the coverage you think. You’re wildfire coverage may only apply in cases of negligence on your behalf. Ironically, being diligent, or at least not negligent, could leave you without insurance in some cases.