Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Insurance Company Role in Building Fire Adapted Communities

Although this was released back in May, this topic came up on last week's WRSC call and has since sparked more discussion...feel free to weigh in and share here.   

Michele Steinberg, Program Manager, Wildland Fire Operations Division at NFPA shared the news that USAA Insurance has become the first major company in the US to provide policyholders in Firewise Communities in California a 5% discount on their homeowners insurance. This was approved by the California Insurance Commissioner and will go into effect on October 1, 2014.  

There is no doubt that insurance companies will be closely watching how this plays out for USAA. This incentive could become a new tool in the Fire Adapted Communities toolbox.   

In the meantime, many insurance companies are engaged in spreading property mitigation messages to their policyholders through programs such as Firewise Communities/USA; Ready, Set, GO!, and similar efforts aimed at homeowners sharing responsibility for mitigation.  Some companies provide inspections, mitigation work and even firefighting resources when policyholders' properties are under threat of wildfire.

Any stories to share?   


  1. When in Missoula I attended a field trip to see the Fires of 2000. The fire ecologist on the school bus seat next to me got a call on her cell phone. Her home was adjacent to/threatened by the Slide Fire burning that week in Arizona. The neighborhood was on level 2 standby evac. The call was from her insurance company saying that they could see that her home was at risk. They had engines in the area on contract tasked with adding another layer of protection for homes insured by the company - no extra charge. But they had to obtain verbal and written permission from homeowners to actually engage if the need arose. She said go for it. They emailed the documents to her phone which she signed electronically. Ultimately her home was fine, but it was interesting to observe this process. Also - I wonder how these contract crews impact operations. Does it work? Seems like potential for kind of a mess. Anyone?

  2. Interesting post here regarding fire insurance. Really they play big roles for each and everyone. I have a fire insurance policy purchased at Malayan here in the Philippines.