I can’t insure my home!
If you own a home in a hilly or more forested area you may already have run into a new insurance underwriting tool being used called the Fireline Score.
To learn more details about the score itself you can check out this link: http://www.veriskclimate.com/solutions/riskscape/wildfire-risk-scoring-fireline
What I want to focus on here is the more practical aspect of finding insurance.
The high losses due to the past few years of wildfires in Colorado have lead insurance companies to look for a good underwriting tool to help them rate for the risk of wildfire and avoid adverse selection. This accounts for the use of Fireline scoring.
While Fireline gives a score, they do not direct insurance companies in how to implement the scoring into their underwriting guidelines. The scoring is relatively new which means there is not a lot of actuarial data to help insurance companies yet. These things combine to create a wide variance from company to company in how the Fireline score is used. One company may simply charge a higher rate for the increased perception of risk. Another company might take a more strict view and not insure any home with a high enough score.
With these changes it may be more important than ever to contact an independent insurance agent. In our agency we have companies that run the gamut on this issue. IAs can help you find a quality company that will give the most favorable rate on homes with a higher Fireline score.
Ultimately a home with a high Fireline along with a high Protection Class might push a homeowner into the Excess and Surplus insurance market. If you are having difficulty, make some more phone calls and look for an agent who represents YOU first rather than a captive agent that represents their company first.