Wildfire Smoke Background At Sunset

Insuring Homes in High-Risk Fire Zones

Summer is almost here and we’re seeing an increasing trend where California homeowners are being non-renewed by their insurer due to the risk of wildfires. Not only can this leave you frustrated and with fewer options, but it drives up the cost of premiums. If you need high-risk fire insurance, here’s what you should know…

Your FireLine Score

Your Fire Score is an eligibility tool that’s used by some insurance companies to assess your home’s wildfire risk and whether or not you’re in a high-risk fire insurance zone. It’s a scale of 0 to 30, with 30 indicating the greatest possible threat. This analysis is carried out using remote sensing, as well as digital mapping with satellite technology.

Three main factors add up to your home’s overall vulnerability to wildfires…

1. Fuel: For example, dense brush in the surrounding areas.

2. Slope: Steep slopes can actually increase the intensity of a wildfire, in addition to how fast it travels.

3. Access: Is your property easily accessible to firefighting equipment?

How is “Brush” Defined by Insurance Providers?

If your property has landscaping that’s well maintained, it shouldn’t be an issue unless plants are touching the roof, or hanging directly above it. Insurance companies are more concerned about any unmanaged vegetation that grows near your home. For example, think of the hillsides of dry chaparral so commonly seen in Southern California. Such areas are a fuel source just waiting for a spark. Homes adjacent to dried grass, wild brush, or dry debris, are considered candidates for high-risk fire insurance.

Do You Need High-Risk Fire Insurance?

If you’re a homeowner in California, it’s very likely you’ll need high-risk fire insurance. The key to protecting your home and your family is to make sure you have enough coverage, so focus on the current value of your house, and what it would cost per square foot if you ever had to rebuild. Also, don’t forget to factor in home improvement projects. They aren’t automatically updated or accounted for in your coverage.

All in all, understanding what your high-risk fire insurance does and does not cover can seem confusing. If you’re overwhelmed, we can help. Contact our team of insurance experts at (925) 447-1744. We’re committed to providing customer care, not just customer service.