The Firewise Discount with FAIR

Does the FAIR plan offer discounts for Firewise Communities?

Do other insurers offer Firewise discounts?

What is Firewise relative to a Propery Insurer?

The FAIR Firewise Discount:

Yes, the FAIR plan now offers a discount to firewise community, assuming they are informed and pass through underwriting properly. Various sources state that the discount could be up to 7%. Given the high cost of the FAIR plan though – any discount, any discount at all if large. Keep in mind that a discount to the FAIR plan will not convey a discount to the DIC or CPL policy.

If you live in a firewise community and have or are getting a California FAIR plan – tell your insurance agent or broker.

The California FAIR plan firewise discount is real.

What are the Drawbacks of the FAIR Firewise Discount?

In general a firewise designation is a good thing. However there are a few minor drawbacks. The main one that this insurance agent can see is that it can slow down underwriting. Is your community a firewise community or merely working to the designation. The FAIR application process states in no uncertain terms that requesting this discount can slow down the application process.

What is Firewise?

Firewise is a community program that attempts to reduce the risk of wildfire in given communities.

According to NFPA: “The national Firewise USA┬« recognition program provides a collaborative framework to help neighbors in a geographic area get organized, find direction, and take action to increase the ignition resistance of their homes and community and to reduce wildfire risks at the local level.”

Being a firewise community can be beneficial and it is considered better that your community is firewise than not firewise. Generally speaking – if you live in a firewise neighberhood you more than likely would know if you if it is considered a firewise community.

Firewise areas are not for an entire town typically – more often is an area of a town. A community, a local set of streets, a development, perhaps a CDP, or other area. The Firewise program is a good thing here in California.

What is the California FAIR Plan?

The California FAIR plan is the insurer or last resort. If you cannot find any homeowners insurance you may be able to get it through the Calfiornia FAIR plan. From a consumer perspective the FAIR plan is considered a partial plan. It protects you from fire and a few other perils, but in order to get something more similar to a homeowners policy you need to also purchase a DIC Companion policy. Speak with a licensed agent in your jurisdiciton when applying or changing or ammeding coverage. FAIR plan policies are very complex and do require an agent.

Do Other Property Insurers Offer Discounts for Firewise Communities:

A few property insurers offer discounts to firewise communities. Press releases and such state that USAA and Mercury Insurance both offer these discounts. Of course offering a discount to a firewise community does in no way mean that they are willing to write business in communities that are in danger of a a wildfire. The two are not the same.

The California DOI lists the following insurers as currently offering firewise discounts as of January 2022:

USAA, Chubb, California FAIR, Cincinnati, State Farm, Occidental Fire & Casualty, Falls Lake Fire and Casualty, CSAA, Crestbrook, California Automobile Insurance Company, ASI, American Modern, Allstate, AIG. Source. I cannot speak for the accuracy of any of these insurers providing these discounts.

The FAIR Firewise Discount Summation:

The California FAIR plan offers a discount for communities in firewise communities. Tell your agent to get the discount with FAIR. The firewise discount is signficant given the cost of the FAIR plan.