If you own an expensive piece of real estate in the dry and sunny Southwest, you may spend more time evaluating your homeowner's insurance coverage for wildfire damage than any other potential loss. Indeed, with many parts of the Southwest experiencing larger and more frequent wildfires than ever before, ensuring you're adequately protected can be the difference between replacing your items after a wildfire or declaring bankruptcy and moving away. However, for those who have items (or memories) that simply can't be compensated with any amount of insurance money, private firefighting insurance may be what you need to protect your home from ever suffering fire damage in the first place. Read on to learn more about these insurance policies to determine whether this is the right type of insurance for you.

What is private firefighting insurance?

When a wildfire is raging with no signs of slowing, local, state, and national firefighting services go to the frontlines to try to limit the spread of the wildfire and contain the damage. In some cases, this can mean that homes directly in the path of the wildfire become engulfed in flames as the firefighters concentrate more on slowing the fire's spread than protecting individual homes. 

Private firefighting insurance helps prevent your home from suffering fire damage by dispatching firefighters to protect your home for as long as possible. These firefighters aren't responsible for helping control the spread of the fire, but simply ensuring the area directly around your home is sufficiently soaked to form a moat against flame. While your home may still experience a bit of smoke-related damage or some exterior charring, your personal belongings have a much greater chance of making it through the wildfire unscathed than if you rely only on the public firefighters. 

Is this insurance a good idea?

Because private firefighting insurance requires that a firefighting crew remain on standby to help protect your home from fire, it isn't cheap. However, for homes with priceless architectural features or valuable belongings that aren't easily moved (like an antique grand piano), having this insurance can provide the peace of mind you need when living in an area where a stray cigarette butt has the potential to cause millions of dollars in damage. You may want to speak with an attorney who has experience with this type of insurance policy, like those at Freedman, Wagner, Tabakman & Weiss, to determine whether it's a good investment for your specific situation.