Insuring High Value Homes in High Fire Areas – Protection Class 9 – 10

If there are two home insurance markets that are having a hard time finding reasonable insurance policies it is: high value homes and homes located in high fire areas. We have written in-depth on previous blogs about homes that are located in high fire and brush areas. Our blog topic, “Tips on How to Insure High-Risk and Brush Area Homes”, is one of our most visited pages.

If you have a combination of a high value home and a home that is listed as a brush fire area you are dealing with 2 issues that may limit your options. First we will tackle what exactly is considered a high value home. Secondly, we will discuss what criteria is used to determine a high fire risk. Lastly we will give you the best options for securing the best insurance for your home.

What is considered a high-value home?

Most companies consider a high-value home to be a home with a replacement cost of $750,000 or more. This is generally what your coverage A or dwelling coverage would be listed as on your policy.

Because a high value home exposes an insurance company to a large amount of risk on an individual location most companies will re-insure risks over a certain coverage amount. You, the client, are insured by the primary company. The insurance company purchases “reinsurance” from a company to help reduce their total exposure.

The “reinsurance” is the particular problem that has caused many high value homes, especially those homes with replacement cost over $1,750,000, to become both expensive and difficult to insure. The cost of reinsurance has gone up as investment (bonds) returns have fallen with low interest rates. Primary insurance companies have in turn had to raise rates or limit coverages for high value homes.

How and who decides what areas are considered high brush? 

ISO Protection Class:

First off you may hear your homes protection class as a number, such as a Protection Class 5 or a Protection Class 10. With these numbers a “1″ is the least hazardous and a “10″ would be the most hazardous. These numbers are put together by the Insurance Services Office, “ISO”, and are a rating of the fire departments coverage and response time to your location. Generally a protection class 9 or 10 would be considered to have a structure fully engulfed in fire by the time the fire deparment is able to respond.

Brush Mapping Services:

Companies now use a host of brush mapping services to help them determine if a home can be insured with their program or not. Some companies would simply determine an “elgible” or “inelgible” determination. Some companies would use a tiered structure to charge higher premiums in higher risk areas. Brush mapping systems use a combination of distance to brush, fuel load and previous fire history in their determination.

The Crosby and Crosby Solution

We talk to clients each day that have spent hours on the phones with different agents trying to find home insurance. This is often a frustrating process as companies are unfamiliar with different areas or are unfamiliar with insuring high-value homes.

By specializing in helping our clients find suitable coverage for their high fire risk and high value homes we can effeciently get your a quote from one of our great companies.

We write home insurance throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Wisconsin.

You can now complete an online live quote, give us a call at 661-327-5531 or send us an


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