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New regulations look to help homeowners improve their wildfire 'risk score'

Firefighter (FILE)
Posted at 6:57 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 21:57:57-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The California Department of Insurance proposed new regulations early this year that are intended to help homeowners reduce the price of their insurance by implementing wildfire safety actions. 23ABC’s Breanna Polk spoke with the Department of Insurance and shared more on how these regulations will also help homeowners improve their wildfire risk scores.

The CoreLogic® Wildfire Risk Score is a deterministic wildfire model which is as comprehensive as it is granular. It covers 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. It evaluates the risk of a property to wildfire by returning an easy-to-understand, normalized 5 to 100 score, giving insight into the potential risk of a wildfire. It does so by not only combining the risk rating but also factoring in proximity to higher-risk areas that could affect the property via windblown embers. In addition, it considers slope, aspect, vegetation/fuel, and surface composition. These factors are all weighted differently and combined to form the score.

While the Department of Insurance wants to remind consumers about the importance of having home insurance they also encourage homeowners to be mindful of the dire need to better prepare for extreme wildfires.

The new set of proposed regulations will reward homeowners with a reduced price in their home insurance by improving the elements that contribute to their wildfire risk score which Michael Soller from the Department of Insurance says includes creating defensible space around your home or installing dual pane windows that are more ember resistant.

“The regulations that Commissioner Lara has proposed build on a new wildfire safety framework that we just came out with this year to give that clear direction for people to get money back in their pockets and to give them transparency about what kind of risks they actually face at their home or business and how they can bring those risks down.”

Soller adds that taking a community-wide approach is also very critical and even though a lot of people are familiar with defensible space – thinking about how to work with your neighbors and take actions together is important because if you’ve taken wildfire safety actions and your neighbor has not you are both still at risk.

Soller encourages all community members to take part in a national program called Firewise USA which focuses on neighborhood home wildfire safety tips.

Wildfire Risk Score HAZARD RISK