Wildfire Insurance – California Fire and Brush Policies
California Fire Insurance For Homes Near Brush and Wild Fire Areas
California residents that are buying or own property near brush or in wildfire area may find it difficult to get home insurance.
Jeffrey Wood Insurance Agent insures homes, condos, townhomes, renters, landlords and rental units in high brush and wildfire areas. We also specialize in escrow closings with properties in high brush regions and work directly with your lender and escrow officer to make sure your escrow closes on time.
Once an insurance company identifies your home as a high-risk location, you may be denied coverage or your policy may be canceled; this can happen regardless of how long you’ve been insured with the same company.
Californians living in high fire areas are especially aware of the risk if their homes are close to brush. While most insurance carriers won’t insure your property if you’re within 1500 feet of canyons, brush or a wildfire area; Jeffrey Wood Insurance Agent can insure most homes that have 150 feet of clearance to brush.
So how do insurance companies define “BRUSH”?
Brush is any live or dead bushes, shrubs, thicket, trees or other vegetation near your home or property. This brush can potentially light on fire, burn and/or fuel a wildfire.
Vegetation or trees growing in thick bundles are more of a threat as a fire source. Piles of dead yard debris, tree branches, dried grass, etc. are also considered uncleared brush.
If you have a yard full of manicured vegetation, this is not usually a concern unless the greenery is touching the home, roof or hanging within 3 feet over the roof.
In addition to fire hazardous brush, other variables are taken into consideration when determining if your home is located in a California high brush area.
California High Brush Area Guidelines
- Topography: Your surrounding terrain and landscape.
- Wind Patterns: Is your home located in an area where the wind patterns blow a fire toward your property?
- Distance to the nearest full-time fire station: You may be near a fire station, but if it’s a volunteer fire station, it doesn’t count. You must have your assigned RESPONDING fire station within a certain distance of your property.
- Distance to a fire hydrant: It is preferred you are within 1000 feet of a public fire hydrant.
- Roof type: If you have a wood roof and are located in a high brush area, this can be an issue for most insurance carriers.
- PPC (Public Protection Classification): This is a rating from 1-10 (10 = very high fire risk).
- FireLine score: The ISO looks at surrounding fuel or brush, the slope of your home and the ability to access your property at the time of a fire.
Was Your Fire Policy Cancelled?
If you are canceled or non-renewed by your insurance company, it’s important to find home insurance quickly. Once canceled, your lender is notified. At that time, you must immediately find another policy, or you’ll be stuck with “force-placed insurance” where your lender purchases insurance on your behalf. Force-placed insurance can be VERY EXPENSIVE.
Before you call the California Fair Plan or your lender buys you Force-Placed Insurance, call Jeffrey Wood! These policies provide limited coverage and are usually only Actual Cash Value policies (you are only compensated for the depreciated value of your home).