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Thread: Brush fire Vs the Insurance claim

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Brush fire Vs the Insurance claim

    Had a brush fire today that cleared about an acre or so on my property, sadly that acre was host to a young fruit orchard I had planted 2 years back. In all I lost about 20 or so trees, with another 10 still standing but I don't know if they will recover. I also lost a few dozen fruit bushes in the fire as well. So now I'm trying to figure out how best to approach this from a home owners insurance viewpoint. If anyone has any experience in something like this, I would love to hear any thoughts.
    The Normalcy Bias, do you suffer from it to?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    1,938

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    It all depends on the terms of your policy Hazzard. My guess is your trees are not covered unless your policy is a lot better than mine.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2011
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    That's horrible news, houses, supplies, vehicles are easily replaced. Orchards are an investment that requires precious time. Best of luck for you.
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

  4. #4
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    Wow Haz, sorry to hear anout your loss. I know I'd be hard hit by something like that. Good luck with your insurance.

    Any ideas how it got started? And I think we may benefit from hearing how it was put out before doing worse damage.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  5. #5
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    Good luck with that. I had ranch insurance with Farm Bureau which seemed like the logical choice, but I was wrong. Had wetbacks break in by fetching a joint of 2 5/8" pipe from way out behind the barn, a couple hundred yards, toting it back and using it to pry off the burglar bars, trashing the window frame and all in the process. Called insurance and turned out that they did not cover that. OK.

    Couple years later had a brush fire started by wetback campfire under a windmill took all total about 15K acres from 3-4 ranches and about 4 miles of my five strand barbed wire and cedar posts. Wire was visibly fine but applying heat like that to the wire, it rusts out in a year or two. Called up Farm Bureau again and yep, no coverage again. I asked exactly what they did cover and never got an adequate answer, so cancelled and moved on to a commercial policy.
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


    I typically carry a flask of vodka for snakebites. I also carry a small snake.- W. C. Fields

  6. #6
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    Sweet Tennessee
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    That stinks KC, I never could afford farm bureau, went through an independent agent who's name is on the l line for coverage. We've become friends, turned out he's a little bit of a prepper. He bought an AR from me I never even saw.............. it was at a buddy of mine shop that had traded a 300 Win mag I had there for sale to the AR my agent bought I just picked up the money
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

  7. #7
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    Well I have State Farm and this will be covered by my Home Owners insurance, thankfully. My agent did verify that through their claims department. Right now I have to figure out my 'cost of replacement' for the trees and bushes, which isn't as easy as I hoped. So far my loss stands at 21 trees completely gone, most of those were burned to the ground. 8 are still standing but singed pretty bad so I don't know if they will be able to recover, and 1 tree didn't get touched. The ones that survived (or at least still visible) are my youngest trees. I also lost 20 service berry bushes, 30 blue berry bushes, and 5 Sugar Maple trees. None were fully grown, but all were 2-5 years older then what they are when store bought. 30 Wisteria bushes and 10 Tulip trees I got last year and planted in a small area so they would stay healthy until I was ready to transplant to their permanent spot. Not to mention the 3 nice garden hoses I had out there to water the plants and use to put out my burn piles when I did those.

    As for how the fire happened, my only guess is i missed something when doing a burn pile earlier in the day. I had a number of trees cut down last year (mostly pine) and I've been burning the tops and branches left behind. I've been very careful when putting them fires out when I'm done. Ensuring the fire was completely out, all ash was hosed down, all remaining logs turned over, the coals spread out with a hoe and rinsed off. I don't leave these piles until I am sure nothing is smoking, not even steam coming off a hot coal. I am very diligent in making sure everything is out. after I was done, the wife and I went inside to clean up and watch some TV, she went out a few hours later and saw the flames. My only guess is that I missed something somewhere and over the 2-3 hours we were inside it managed to smolder up enough to re catch. Given the area covered, I can't imagine it was burning more then 20=30 minuets before we noticed it.
    The Normalcy Bias, do you suffer from it to?

  8. #8
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    Man, crazy stuff happens quick. In my experience, State Farm is a rip off. They take your money, are very quick to get in touch with you if you owe them money, but they do not pay out for hardly anything and it is like pulling teeth to try to get them to pay up money owed.

    I've had State Farm for years and have always had great experiences with them. I bought a house in 2009 and my agent personally inspected the house and said all was good. 6 months later a leak in the roof developed. My agent told me to go buy the biggest tarp and staple it down with as many staples as I could. So I did just that and used about 2k staples to hold it down. The inspector came out, looked at the roof, and told me thank you for attempting to stop the leak with that huge tarp. But since so many staples were used, we now have to replace the entire roof instead of just fix the leak! It was going to cost us the same no matter what do it was nice having an agent help guide us to get the most out of the insurance that we could.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  9. #9
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    Montana
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzard View Post
    Well I have State Farm and this will be covered by my Home Owners insurance, thankfully. My agent did verify that through their claims department. Right now I have to figure out my 'cost of replacement' for the trees and bushes, which isn't as easy as I hoped. So far my loss stands at 21 trees completely gone, most of those were burned to the ground. 8 are still standing but singed pretty bad so I don't know if they will be able to recover, and 1 tree didn't get touched. The ones that survived (or at least still visible) are my youngest trees. I also lost 20 service berry bushes, 30 blue berry bushes, and 5 Sugar Maple trees. None were fully grown, but all were 2-5 years older then what they are when store bought. 30 Wisteria bushes and 10 Tulip trees I got last year and planted in a small area so they would stay healthy until I was ready to transplant to their permanent spot. Not to mention the 3 nice garden hoses I had out there to water the plants and use to put out my burn piles when I did those.

    As for how the fire happened, my only guess is i missed something when doing a burn pile earlier in the day. I had a number of trees cut down last year (mostly pine) and I've been burning the tops and branches left behind. I've been very careful when putting them fires out when I'm done. Ensuring the fire was completely out, all ash was hosed down, all remaining logs turned over, the coals spread out with a hoe and rinsed off. I don't leave these piles until I am sure nothing is smoking, not even steam coming off a hot coal. I am very diligent in making sure everything is out. after I was done, the wife and I went inside to clean up and watch some TV, she went out a few hours later and saw the flames. My only guess is that I missed something somewhere and over the 2-3 hours we were inside it managed to smolder up enough to re catch. Given the area covered, I can't imagine it was burning more then 20=30 minuets before we noticed it.
    Claim them all....you don't know if they will recover.
    Good medicine in bad places

  10. #10
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    Nov 2009
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    East Tennessee
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    I would claim total loss. If they were subject to that much heat, they most likely will not live thru this next winter.

    I have bought all my fruit trees and most of my berries here. www.starkbros.com full year replacement on anything that doesn't make it. And the trees I got from them had far and away the best root system of any tree I ever bought anywhere.
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

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