June 26, 2022

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Homeowners suffer while state, insurers haggle fire science

In summary

A program that incentivizes homeowners to mitigate wildfire risk through insurance discounts would be a win-win for insurers and consumers. Creating one is the hard part.

Sue Ladich spent $1,600 clearing brush and trees from around her home in 2014. In 2017, she ponied up $3,500 to clear even more potential wildfire fuel from her property. This year, she spent another $2,200. 

But the more than $7,000 and countless hours of work spent in the name of keeping her Truckee home safe from wildfires added up to nothing in the eyes of insurers.

Californians across the state are taking measures to help save their homes from the state’s ever-worsening fires and satisfy risk-averse insurers, but many, like Ladich, are seeing their homeowners’ policy cancelled or premiums jacked up anyway.