SureFire Property Services and your Insurance Company

Even if the fire department has determined your home to be a low wild fire risk, insurance carriers may have a different opinion. It doesn’t matter how close you are to a fire hydrant, the number of local fire stations or if you keep your yard well-manicured, your property may still be classified as a High Brush Zone or Wild Fire Hazard Area; making it difficult to find California Wildfire or High Brush Insurance.


Most insurance carriers base a home’s eligibility and rates from information collected by a 3rd party known as the ISO (Insurance Services Office).  The ISO provides data, underwriting information, risk management statistics to measure how “risky” a home is in relation to wild fires. 


Homes that are in designated California high fire zones or wild fire areas are typically located on hillsides, canyons, sloped terrain or high brush areas.  Insurance carriers also look at the geography, topography and distance to brush of each individual home.


What do Insurance Companies use to determine premiums and if your property is in a high fire zone?


PPC Code or Public Protection Class

The PPC code is based on a 1-10 scale (10 = very high fire risk).  The PPC takes into consideration the distance to a fire hydrant and the nearest RESPONDING fire station (volunteer stations don’t count).  Once your score goes above a 5, there is a premium surcharge.

Insurance carriers prefer your home is within 5 miles of a responding fire station and less than 1000 feet from a fire hydrant.


ARS / Brush Fire Score

The ARS Score is based on a 1-15 scale (15 = very high fire risk).  A home’s ARS score is determined by 3 variables:

The type/amount of brush or fuel within ¼ mile radius.  Many carriers decline a home insurance if they are within 100-2500 feet of brush.

The slope and terrain. How easily the dwelling can be accessed by a fire truck (is the road paved and can it be accessed from more than one direction).

Once an insurance company determines the home is difficult to access or can’t be seen from a public road, they often classify the “risk” as ineligible.

Insurance companies prefer your home has an ARS score of 11 or less.  If your home has a wood roof and a 6+ ARS score, you may be ineligible with most insurance carriers.


Special Hazard Interface Area (SHIA)

A home is in a Special Hazard Interface Area if it has an unfavorable fuel and slope score. Properties that fall under the SHIA parameters may have to follow 8 requirements to be insurable.

1. No fences, playground equipment, trellises or other combustible structures within 30 feet of the home.

2. Brush must be cleared within 100 feet or up to the property line, whichever is less.

3. No vegetation within 10 feet of a propane tank & the tank must be more than 30 feet from the home.

4. No wood roofs.

5. Gutters, soffit vents, chimney and stovepipe non-combustible mesh with opening of no more than one quarter inch.

6. No dead or dying plants, shrubs or bushes within 30 feet of the home.

7. Eaves and overhangs must be boxed or enclosed with non-flammable materials to reduce the surface area and eliminate any edges that can trap burning embers.

8. There must be at least 15 feet of vertical clearance between the home and overhanging tree branches.

SureFire Property Services Set the Pace

By enlisting our services, we can provide the homeowner with a piece of mind, a true potential threat assessment from wildfire and measures that can be implemented to reduce this threat.

We provide a comprehensive property profile assessment of your home along with a risk analysis based on predicted and past fire histories and activities. We are happy to work directly with your insurance company to assist in mitigating threats and concerns regarding your home. From the inception of our service, we stand by you~ We assess your property risk, we provide a comprehensive mitigation plan to reduce or remove risks to your home, we create a recommended emergency plan for your residence during the high fire season and ultimately can provide your brush removal crews to ready your property for the threat of wildfire. The end result is a fully aware homeowner with a clear picture of where you stand in regards to your risk level. All vegetation removed is chipped and mulched on site leaving a clean, clear, and improved landscape around your property. Our final documentation package will be assembled for your insurance company in an effort to lower your threat score, improve your insurability, and a copy is also provided to you as well.

Let Us Help You

We can create your property risk and mitigation plan for a $200.00 dollar service fee. This plan is the first real effort to mitigate the overall potential risks to your property. If you choose to have SureFire teams provide the work mitigation efforts, we can waive the assessment fee and include it in your proposal of work to be completed. We are fast, friendly, professional and affordable! And we certainly are cheaper then the though of replacing the entire home..... Give us a call and we will Work for You!

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Created by Woody Bouska