In the past, “Fire Season” used to consist of only a few months a year. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Fire season is year round…especially in southern California.
What does this mean to you in regards to your home insurance? With the recent wild fires, insurance companies had more fire claims than they ever could have predicted. Because they’ve paid out much more than anticipated in losses/fire claims, most insurance companies reevaluated their underwriting guidelines.
Some insurance carriers are more sensitive to “hazardous brush” or wildfire areas more than others. Most insurance companies won’t insure a home that is within 1000 feet to brush. Some companies even stay away from homes that are within 2500 feet (almost ½ mile) of brush.
Fortunately, Einhorn Insurance can insure most homes located 100+ feet to brush. We strongly recommend everyone review their home insurance coverage on a yearly basis. Many factors affect a home’s reconstruction costs (Materials, Labor, Home Improvements/Upgrades, etc.); they can increase on a yearly basis. Many homes are currently underinsured; unfortunately, over the last few years, this is something quite a few people (that lost their homes as a result of the fires) learned the hard way. You don’t want to find out after a loss occurs. BE PROACTIVE! We are more than happy to review your policy.
It’s best to minimize fire risk and exposure by removing any brush, combustible trees and dry or overgrown vegetation located near your property. Firewood, paint cans and any flammable items should be kept a safe distance from the house.
What happens if you are closer than 100 feet to brush? This is where the California Fair Plan comes into play. The CFP is a “last resort” for homeowners and should only be explored if a home owner has exhausted all carriers. If you obtain a policy from the CFP, it is your responsibility to determine the cost to rebuild your home. They will not do this for you.
The California Fair Plan policy starts as a very basic policy which only covers Fire, Lightning and Internal Explosion. The policy is an Actual Cash Value policy (you will be compensated for the depreciated value of your home) unless you add an endorsement to provide you with the home’s replacement cost. Other items such as windstorm, hail, explosion, riot or civil commotion, aircraft, vehicles, smoke, and volcanic eruption, vandalism and malicious mischief may be added to the policy. Personal property, other structures (detached garages, fences, sheds…etc), landscaping, building ordinance and inflation guard are all coverages that may need to be added or increased to meet your specific needs.
If you are in need of a CFP policy, it is important to have a professional help put the correct insurance package in place to ensure you are properly covered.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at agent@einhorninsurance, 858.336.4644 or www.einhorninsurance.com.