Who evaluates defensible space?
Last updated 2/15/2023 at 6:42pm
I live on 1.5 acres in Fallbrook, a couple miles from town. My home insurance went up 50% when I renewed in October because of new Fire Hazard Severity Zones (FHSZ) implemented by CalFire.
I checked around with a few big name insurance companies and when I gave them my address, they said we couldn't do business. They are creating an insurance nightmare for rural dwellers in this state.
When you check out the FHSZ Map, you will see a very broad brush has been used to paint millions of acres.
I've done a ton of clearing and cleanup each year since buying this property in 2009, installed 7000 sf of concrete around my house, replaced wood siding with cement fiber board, ensured all vent screening is per code, and planted ice plant on canyon hillsides.
They send out the annual Abatement Reminder and push the clearing to achieve defensible space, yet I don't recall CalFire coming by to inspect my property. I don't recall my insurance provider coming by to inspect my property.
I look out my window to a view of multiple properties in our canyon. I see a couple that look like a jungle, a few with relatively clear land with a few trees, and some with wide open spaces.
Yet if you look at the FHSZ Map, it is all painted the same.
How do we get insurance relief for those who maintain their property?
What is the incentive for people that bust their butt clearing trees and growth, paying for equipment, chippers, maybe hiring help to maintain our defensible space?
Where do we sign up for an evaluation of defensible space?
Last point... Has the insurance doubled for all the homes in sub-divisions across this state where houses are less than 10 feet apart and built prior to flammable material codes?
I doubt it because they were not the focus of this self-inflicted state fiasco called FHSZ.