Well California, it’s fire season again. If you are like me than fingers crossed for an easy year! Today I left my house and the wind was already alerting my insurance brain. I thought, this is not good for fire season!
Home insurance premiums, and auto premiums are increasing with many carriers and it is mainly because of the loss history over the past few years in California.
Last year many of our home insurance carriers really tightened up on brush mapping, and additional maintenance requirements. If you lived in an area that is considered a higher risk for brush than you’ll know what I’m talking about. It has been a struggle for those who live in areas where fires can happen. If you received a renewal in a higher brush risk area you are one of the lucky ones!
The reality is though, that even if you live in a suburban neighborhood, or a city, or in the desert your home could burn. Unless your home is made up of fire resistant material and you have no landscaping of any kind you may be in the clear. But fires can happen no matter where you live.
Many insurance carriers have set policies to non-renew with the reason being that the location is no longer acceptable due to brush. Some of those homes have been in normal suburban neighborhoods not even in mountainous or high brush areas. Companies look at many different factors to come to this decision. One of the main factors is a FireLine Score. This score is given based off of several factors which include:
How far your home is to the nearest public hydrant?
How far is the nearest manned fire station?
How quickly can the fire department get to your home?
Are you on or next to a slope and how quickly can the fire travel up hill to your home?
These are just some of the examples that companies are using to help determine the fire risk to your home.
If you have found that you have been non-renewed you are not alone! There are companies that will insure your home but most likely they will be more expensive.
In lieu of non-renewals many insurance companies could give you a list of Mitigation Requirements. These are maintenance requests from the carrier that if done correctly will help to provide enough defensible space to help protect your home in the event of a wildfire. If these aren’t completed the company could set your home to non-renew.
These requests take time and effort yes, but they will allow your home to be more protected in the event of a loss.
Since we are at the beginning of fire season in California let’s not wait until we get a letter from our home insurance company to make some changes. What are things that we can do, to help tidy up our yards so that we give our home enough defensible space?
- Trim away trees, bushes or branches that are touching your home, or overhanging your roof.
- Remove any piles of leaves, grass or other debris completely.
- Clean off any debris from your roof and gutters.
- Mow your lawn frequently to avoid over grown grass.
- Water your plants and lawn so that they are not dry.
Of course there are several other things that you can do to help protect your home but these will get you started! For more information on defensible space head to readyforwildfire.org
Give us a call or head to our website for all of your insurance needs!
A: 201 Natoma St Folsom, CA 95630 P: (916)985-7500 T: (916)970-9349