FAIR Plan to offer new discounts for homeowners taking steps to protect against wildfire

Editor’s note: This story which may be of interest to Lassen News readers is reprinted from Plumas News.

The California FAIR Plan Association announced that it will introduce new home hardening discounts, effective Aug. 23 for policyholders who take steps to make their homes safer from wildfires. As Californians continue to grapple with the impact of climate-fueled natural disasters across the state, the new discounts are designed to enhance wildfire resilience, support insurance availability and give peace of mind to policyholders.

“Home hardening in communities vulnerable to wildfire improves safety and helps to address insurance availability for consumers,” said Victoria Roach, president of the FAIR Plan. “Our goal is to help save lives and protect homes. The new home hardening discounts will encourage homeowners to take steps that increase wildfire resilience and reduce risks in areas threatened by worsening wildfires.”

Home hardening helps to protect properties from wildfires, especially in areas where fire risk is highest. The qualifying mitigation measures have been identified by fire prevention experts to help protect structures from wildfire and reduce the risk of fire spreading in the immediate surroundings.

The amount of savings will depend on which protections policyholders choose to implement. Consumers are encouraged to work with their insurance broker to identify discounts for which they are eligible. To qualify for either the immediate surroundings discount or structural discount, homeowners must meet all of the following criteria:

Immediate Surroundings Protections

  • Cleared vegetation and debris from under decks.
  • Removal of combustible shed and other outbuildings from the immediate surroundings of the home, to at least a distance of 30 feet.
  • Defensible space compliance (including trimming trees, removal of brush and debris from yard, and compliance with state law and local ordinances).

Structure Protections 

  • Class-A Fire rated roof.
  • Maintain a 5-foot ember-resistant zone around a home (including fencing within 5 feet).
  • Noncombustible 6 inches at the bottom of exterior walls.
  • Ember and fire-resistant vents (See Low-Cost Retrofit List, and Chapter 7A).
  • Upgraded windows (Double paned or added shutters).
  • Enclosed eaves.

The latest discounts are in addition to a Firewise discount already offered by the FAIR Plan for properties located within designated Firewise USA communities.

These discounts are part of the state’s Safer from Wildfires interagency partnership, comprised of the California Department of Insurance, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and Office of Planning and Research, and California Public Utilities Commission.

To learn more about qualifications for discounts, visit CDI’s  Safer from Wildfires webpage.