Our hearts and support go out to those affected by the catastrophic wildfires these past months. When a wildfire or other natural disaster hits, lenders suspend funding on transactions located in that area until the situation is improved. In many cases, an appraisal re-inspection or other certification may be required to demonstrate that the subject property has not sustained any damage since the original appraisal inspection occurred.
In light of these fires, it’s more important than ever to understand your homeowners’ insurance requirements and options. Here are some important tips for buyers purchasing fire insurance1:
- Compare your insurance options.
The California Department of Insurance offers a homeowners insurance comparison tool that can help you determine the approximate annual insurance premium on a home.
- Know each property’s FireLine score.
A FireLine score is a number between 0–30 that the insurance industry created to rate properties in western states with an increased wildfire risk. The higher the FireLine score, the greater the perceived risk to that home, and the more expensive your insurance policy will be. You can view Cal Fire’s list of high-risk cities, and your insurance agent can look up the score of any property you’re thinking of buying.
- Be aware of California’s FAIR Plan.
If you’ve been unable to secure basic fire insurance in the conventional market, there is an alternative called the California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plan. It’s a private association comprised of all insurers licensed to sell insurance in California. Visit FAIR for more information or to find a broker.
- Be sure your policy covers replacement cost.
The California State Insurance Department advises homeowners to be sure your insurance policy covers not only the value of your home, but the replacement cost of your home. Consult your insurance representative on the difference.
1 Discuss your policy and options with your insurance agent or provider to make the best decisions for your individual situation.
Opes Advisors is sending our thoughts and prayers to the many Californians who have suffered losses in the recent wildfires.
Want to help? Here’s a partial list of organizations helping those affected by California wildfires:
While Opes Advisors, a division of Flagstar Bank, Member FDIC, uses all reasonable efforts to ensure that this information is current, accurate and complete on the date of publication, no representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of such information. Opes Advisors, a division of Flagstar Bank, Member FDIC, therefore, cannot be held liable for any loss arising or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information appearing in this.