Spain and Portugal have endured the worst wildfires in more than 10 years, prolonged by a heatwave that has offered little respite. Both nature and property have been impacted profoundly in the affected areas.
The Algarve in Portugal has been especially hard hit, with more than 26,500 hectares of forest having been destroyed. On the Portuguese island of Madeira many people had to be evacuated from their homes because of the risk posed by wildfires.
Wildfires can cause huge damage to a property, so it is crucial that if you own a home in a wildfire-risk area, you protect it as far as possible. Your buildings and contents insurance policy should provide protection for such an event, although you should ensure your property is not under-insured. This can happen when the buildings sum insured does not accurately reflect the cost of re-building the home from scratch.
Receiving a payout that is significantly less than the re-build cost can be extremely upsetting. You should make sure this sum is accurate.
In terms of practical measures of protection, there are a number of things you can do. Look at how accessible your property is for emergency services, and consider how you may cut back bushes and scrubland that is close to your property. Check for discarded bottles around the property which can magnify the sun’s rays, causing fires.