Firewise Certification John H Gardner Gardner asked 1 month ago
Firewise Certification

If our HOA gets a Firewise Certification, will our homeowners get consideration for discounts / positive renewals?

Does Firewise Certification allow some flexibility from the requirement to remove all shrubs within 5 feet of the houses?

Thanks,

John

1 Answers
Fawn Nekton Fawn Nekton Expert answered 3 weeks ago

Hi John,

I’m so glad you asked about the Firewise Discount. A Firewise community qualifies for an insurance premium discount under California’s “Safer from Wildfires” program, which mandates that insurers offer discounts for mitigation efforts done on an individual property and community level. Unfortunately, not all insurance carriers offer the same discounts, and the amount of the discount varies by carrier. So, while the Firewise Certification itself doesn’t guarantee a discount, it does demonstrate a proactive approach to wildfire safety which your insurer may view favorably when underwriting a new policy, or considering renewal of an existing policy. Your HOA should check with their insurance carrier for which discounts are currently available, and encourage their members to do the same for their individual policies. I wouldn’t recommend anyone change carriers just to obtain the Firewise discount however, because the premium reduction isn’t significant enough to risk giving up a policy that your carrier is willing to renew.

Regarding your landscaping, Firewise certification doesn’t mandate removing all shrubs within 5 feet of houses, rather it emphasizes creating defensible space, which can involve modifying landscaping, but not complete removal. For tips on Fire-Resistant Landscaping, visit https://readyforwildfire.org/prepare-for-wildfire/fire-smart-landscaping/.

You can learn more about the Safer from Wildfire regulations here: https://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/200-wrr/Safer-from-Wildfires.cfm.

Learn about how to become a Firewise Community here: https://readyforwildfire.org/prepare-for-wildfire/firewise-communities/.

I hope this information is helpful!

Fawn