Since the inception of NFPA’s Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program in 2002, residents of wildfire-prone neighborhoods have been asking the question, “What will becoming Firewise do to my insurance premium?” Until recently, the answer was, “Nothing.” Starting last year, however, the answer is much more positive. That’s because in May 2014, the California Insurance Commissioner approved a rate filing request by USAA to reward its members and encourage more residents in wildfire risk areas to take safety steps by providing a discount on the homeowner’s insurance premium for USAA members who live in recognized Firewise Communities.
USAA carefully analyzed Firewise and its growing voluntary recognition program. As more and more neighborhoods used the Firewise process to earn recognition and commit to wildfire safety action, NFPA documented local investment and developed boundary maps of communities in California for USAA’s analysis. USAA reviewed loss history for its members within and outside of California Firewise Communities/USA sites and found a favorable difference in loss experience for members in recognized communities. USAA conducted the same analysis for Colorado and Texas this year, with the same kind of favorable results, demonstrating that properties in participating communities have a safety “edge” that others do not. USAA is also pursuing this discount for its members living in other states with significant wildfire risks.
Learn much more about USAA’s commitment to wildfire risk reduction and its rewards to members who participate in the Firewise Communities/USA recognition program here. For more about how insurers are supporting wildfire safety actions, check out this Wildfire Watch article in the NFPA Journal.