Do you sell additional limits of debris removal? Pretty much all property policies – personal and commercial lines – include debris removal expenses as part of the loss recovery. However, there are often sublimits of coverage, especially on total losses, the result being that the amount of coverage available for debris removal is inadequate. Again, this is very often true in the case of total losses and almost always true when the loss is part of a bigger, catastrophic loss incident.

A case in point is the recent Paradise, California wildfire that essentially wiped out an entire town (and has, to date, resulted in at least one insurance company bankruptcy). According to one account, this fire destroyed over 17,000 structures, resulting in 6-8 MILLION TONS of debris that must be removed. There is a very high probability that many, if not most, of these properties will have inadequate limits for debris removal.

The good news is that most policies provide options for purchasing additional amounts of debris removal coverage. The bad news is that these options are likely not often offered by agents and rarely purchased by customers. No doubt, this is a tough sale and determining reasonable limits is very difficult. But the article referenced above might be useful in your sales activity to illustrate the need.

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Bill Wilson

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One of the premier insurance educators in America on form, coverage, and technical issues; Founder and director of the Big “I” Virtual University; Retired Assoc. VP of Education and Research from Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Reprint Request Information