Wildfire Information Realtors Can Use
The recent fires in the Wine country this year and the Sierra foothills last year have affected the insurance and real estate markets. What changes can you expect and what can you do to keep this from hurting your business?

1. BINDING MORATORIUMS: All of the wine country zip codes have been closed since 10-9-17. If you had an escrow close during that time, you could not get insurance. The moratorium was lifted for the Northern California Fires 10-30-17.

2. BRUSH FIRE MAPPING: All the companies have different software programs that we check to see if they will insure homes in certain high risk areas. Due to the expected $8.5 billion of insured losses, rates are going up and accepted addresses are going down. We have preferred and high risk insurance companies that most agents do not have.

3. WOOD AND OLD ROOFS: Most companies have refused to insure homes in Southern California with wood roofs for over 20 years. Look for this rule to be applied in Northern California soon. Roofs over 20 years old need to be replaced. When I bought my ‘as-is’ home 4 years ago, the 25 year old Shake roof had moss on it. A new comp roof was $30,000.

4. COMPANY-SPECIFIC CLOSED ZIP CODES: In addition to proximity to brush, some companies are closing zip codes because they have too much exposure in one area. State Farm is closed in Los Altos 94022 & 94024, Stanford 94305 and many other zip codes. One of our companies doesn’t insure homes west of 280.

5. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING: Google maps clearly show open space and limited road access. 200 feet brush clearance is required. Cul-de-sacs, private roads or long driveways are access problems that could trap firefighters, so they let them burn. Company underwriters are using Google to judge risks. If there is too much green its declined.

6. OTHER INSURANCE COMPANY TRICKS: Companies want to reduce their exposure in CA in general. Homes are being turned down for any prior claims, over-hanging trees, outside staircases without a railing, diving boards, trampolines, old wiring and plumbing, and certain dog breeds, are just some of the examples.

What the smart, client-centered Agent will do: Call Insurance by Allied Brokers well in advance of writing a purchase contract to get brush-mapping and pre-approval done, BEFORE your client waives the insurance contingency.

Courtesy - wildfiretoday.com

For more information and/or questions please feel free to call us at 650-328-1000 or email us!

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