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California Fire Insurance


In November 2019, NPR contacted us to address the recent wildfires and their effect on homeowners and their current and future home insurance policies. You can hear the 15 minute interview by clicking the link below.

When it comes to rebuilding your home, things don’t cost what they used to.  The price of labor and materials has increased.  Your current insurance policy may not reflect today’s construction costs. Your home should not be insured based on its current market value (what your house could sell for today). The cost to rebuild the structure may be higher/lower than what someone would pay for your home at that time.

The overwhelming damage caused by California wild fires has caused many insurance companies to reassess which homes and geographic areas they will continue to insure.  It is becoming very common for California insurance carriers to drop home policies when a property is located within ½ mile to fire hazard/brush areas.  Once your home’s location is identified as a “high exposure risk,” your policy may be canceled…. regardless of how long you’ve been insured with the same company.

When an insurance company decides to cancel a home or fire insurance policy, the mortgage company is notified.  The home owner must immediately find another insurance carrier that will insure this “risk”; otherwise the lender will buy insurance on the home.  This is called “force placed” insurance. Force placed insurance can be VERY EXPENSIVE and the coverage is often subpar.

At Einhorn Insurance we do our best to insure your home at a reasonable price, while making sure you have adequate coverage.

House fire


Fire fighters


Einhorn Insurance specializes in:

  • California high brush or wildfire area Home or Landlord Insurance.
  • California high brush or wildfire area Condo or HO-6 Insurance.
  • California high brush or wildfire area Renters insurance.
  • Insurance for California’s high net worth or affluent professionals, celebrities, athletes and/or public figures.
  • California Umbrella Insurance or Excess Umbrella Insurance.
  • All sizes and types of properties from studios to luxury estates.
  • Insurance for older homes or historic homes.
  • Dog liability insurance for owners of all dog breeds (including dogs with a bite history).
  • Short-Term Vacation Rental Insurance
  • Short-Term Condo Vacation Rental Insurance
  • Vacant Home Insurance.
  • Vacant Condo Insurance.
  • Second Home Insurance.
  • Insurance for people with multiple claims.
  • Insurance for escrow closings.
  • California business insurance.
  • SHIA Home Insurance.
  • Life Insurance.
  • Mexico Auto Insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get fire insurance only?

Possibly. The California Fair Plan’s policy offers coverage from Fire, Lightning, Internal Explosion, Smoke, Wind, Hail, Riot, Vandalism, Malicious Mischief, Aircraft and Vehicles. It eliminates coverage for water damage, theft, falling objects, freezing pipes, liability, etc. In order to qualify for a California Fair Plan policy, you must agree that you’ve exhausted all traditional insurance options and can’t find anyone to insure your property. If you can find a complete home insurance policy elsewhere, you are not a candidate for the California Fair Plan.

How much fire insurance do I need?

It’s best to contact a local contractor to see what the average price per square foot to rebuild in your area. Most average homes cost $150-$250/sq ft, but if you live in an area like San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Los Gatos…etc., this figure can increase dramatically. We also recommend a minimum of $300,000 in liability coverage and home owners should seriously consider an Umbrella policy for an extra $1,000,000+ of liability coverage.

How does fire insurance work?

Fire insurance (also known as home insurance) provides coverage for loss or damage to a structure destroyed in a fire. The policy pays the policyholder back (less the deductible) on either a replacement-cost basis or an actual cash value (depreciated) basis for damages.

What happens if you don’t have fire insurance?

Some people decide to “self-insure” and not buy home insurance. Some people forget to pay or purchase fire insurance. Regardless of the reason, if you don’t have home insurance aka fire insurance, your property doesn’t have any protection. If damaged by fire, wildfire, hail, windstorm or vandalism, you are financially responsible for the damage. If you have water damage (the #1 reason for all home insurance claims), a tree falls on your roof, your personal property is stolen or damaged in a fire and/or if someone gets hurt on your property, you aren’t covered. Lenders especially don’t like when borrowers don’t have home insurance. Your lender will buy home insurance for you. This is known as force placed home insurance and it is usually costly and offers sub par coverage.

Is wildfire covered by insurance?

Home insurance (aka Fire Insurance) covers damage caused by wildfires up to the policy limits. In very rare cases, a policy may have a wildfire exclusion. Even if the fire doesn’t directly damage a home, insurance covers indirect damage from smoke, ash, and soot. Arson by the property owner is not covered by home insurance as this is an intentional act. At Einhorn, we are wildfire insurance experts. Please contact us with any questions you might have.

How much does fire insurance cost in California?

Fire insurance can range in pricing drastically. This is like asking how much is car insurance….what kind of car do you have? How old are you? Do you have any DUIs, tickets or accidents? How many miles a year do you drive? Full coverage or liability only?…etc. Home insurance pricing is generally determined by the home’s location, size, quality and prior claim history.

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