Finding Insurance for Foothill Residents
Now, in the aftermath of California’s series of massive wildfires including our own Butte Fire, many homeowners in Amador & Calaveras communities are scrambling to find new fire insurance policies upon receiving notification that their policy is about to be dropped due to their home being located in a high risk area according to their insurance company.
However, there are still steps you may be able to take to secure insurance protection for your home. Below are some resources you may find helpful in understanding your right to be insured.
What is a FireLine Score?
A FireLine score is the method insurance companies use to assess your home’s fire risk by utilizing satellite imagery to measure the fuels at your property address and surrounding areas. This score determines whether an insurance company will choose to provide you insurance or not. It also determines what price the insurance company will offer you coverage. Scores range from 0-30. The lower the score the better.
After the qualifications are met and the properties are scored determines the eligibility of what kind of policy can be provided. If it falls within a acceptable score a standard fire policy can be offered. If the score is over the acceptable number for a company, then a California FAIR Plan policy can be offered for fire, windstorm, hail, lighting and smoke damage coverage, and a wrap policy can be provided for liability, water damage, theft and collapse. Factors that go into calculating the Fireline score include:
• Access roads near your home
• The location of the nearest fire hydrant
• The closest fully-manned fire station
• The width of roads for fire equipment access
• Slope of the ground
• Wildfire history of your area
California Department of Insurance
The California Department of Insurance is in charge of overseeing insurance regulations, enforcing statutes and mandating consumer protections, stabilizing insurance markets in the state, and educating consumers. CDI regulates the licenses, rates, and practices of the insurance agencies.
If you are being denied insurance the California Department of Insurance may be able to help you. They can ensure that your policy was handled properly with adequate notice and help you find a new source of coverage. You can reach their helpline by calling 800-927-4357.
California FAIR Plan Policies
The California FAIR Plan offers basic fire insurance coverage for commercial and residential structures as well as personal property coverage for business and residential occupancies. According to the California Department of Insurance, this is a last resort insurance and should only after a thorough search for insurance has been made in the voluntary market.