Insurance companies are likely to factor in your emergency preparedness while assessing if your home is a high fire risk home. Distance from the closest fire station is one of the most critical indicators of fire preparedness. ISO’s Public Protection Classification Service rates fire departments on a scale of 1 (considered ‘superior’) to 10 (does not meet ISO’s minimum requirements). Insurance companies have started using these ratings to assess their risk before covering homes.
Insurance companies also consider the age of your home and type of construction and roof. If there are water storage tanks and fire hydrants in the vicinity of your home, it might help you get a slightly lower premium.
Clearing brush in the area and removal of combustible trees may help reduce the risk. The Los Angeles Fire Department inspects properties in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones every year, and its guidelines on brush clearance are outlined on the website. It may be a good idea to follow these and perform a self-inspection of your property to reduce fire risks.
Homes prone to wildfires must install fire protection devices. Smoke detectors, fire alarms, and sprinklers are must-haves for every home in wildfire prone areas.
- Insurance companies categorize areas in California as: slight fire and brush areas and high fire and brush risk areas. Bear Valley, Hart Flat near Highway 58, and Outer Areas of Tehachapi fall under the slight fire and brush area category, while unprotected areas of Tehachapi, some areas of Hart Flat, Shaver Lake, Alta Sierra, and upper Bear Valley fall under the high fire and brush risk areas. California Fair Plan insurance coverage is a good option for coverage in these areas. Though it has a few gaps in its coverage, you can opt for a wrap-around policy to fill these in.