You can click on the big circle icons above to learn the latest information about various insurance topics.                        
                                                                                                 
                The facts are that too many high fire hazard area residents are being
          ..."burnt twice"...
first by the fire, then by trying to re-coup your losses"  
                        (Quote by Steve Poisner, Former CA Insurance Commissioner in 2007)

                                                       
           
              Don't be fooled by insurance agents selling expensive homeowner's policies to supplement your
              California Fair Plan fire insurance.  While they do provided much needed coverage for some of the
              perils left uncovered by Fair Plan, they can still leave you with major coverage gaps. They also can
              unnecessarily raise the cost of your Fair Plan policy by 10-45% per year.

              In 2011, The Fair Plan increased rates for many high fire hazard area homeowners by 75% or more.
              Instead of charging based upon the specific factors present at each location, the Fair Plan simply
              stopped looking at each home as an individual entity, and relied instead upon the computer software
              program that allegedly can predict risk!

              The bottom line for many "brush" area homeowner's is that your insurance costs have skyrocketed
              and your coverage still contains serious gaps.  Not only are many people now priced out of the
              market for comprehensive coverage, but also are left holding the bag for possibly tens of thousands
              of dollars in out of pocket costs in order to rebuild their homes.

              If you want to control your costs and improve your coverage, a different approach is needed.

              We have helped many high fire hazard area residents using our UN-bundled approach.  Some were
              able to reduce their over-all costs by 10-45% per year, while others were able to construct a more
              personalized plan of insurance that better aligned their coverage goals without increasing their costs.

              Want to know if a different approach would work for you?                 

              Please contact us today by phone or e:mail for an initial consultation.  Our contact info is:

                                                                           (805) 522-1808
                              hillsideins@gmail.com
                                                             
                      
                                                      
               

                                       
                                              

                                   Knowledge and advance planning before a fire happens are essential to you prevailing in an insurance claim.      
 
Insurance Commissioner to So, CA Hillside Residents
... "Don't Get Burned Twice..."


An independent study of the aftermath of the 2007 regional fires in the greater San Diego area concluded that a staggering 95% of the damaged homes were insured incorrectly. For many of  the more than 1500 families who lost their homes, insurance benefits ran out long before their home were re-built, leading to a staggering average re-building time of over 3 years.
  If you live in a CA wildfire area ... you have options

The CA Fair Plan  is the self proclaimed "insurer of last resort" for basic fire insurance. It is a risk pool backed by the resources of the participating insurance companies. If your home can meet certain risk standards you might be able to obtain insurance at better terms and price from these same or even other insurance companies not in the pool.  We can pre-qualify your home and suggest possible changes to the fire safety of your home so that when you do apply, you have a better chance of being approved.
  Fires / Floods/ Mudslides/ Earthquakes/ Lawsuits / Thefts / Forced Relocations ....

If the only coverage you now have is Fair Plan fire insurance, you have coverage gaps that need to be addressed either by self insurance or by a combination of several other insurance policies. For many high fire hazard area property owners, what works best is to first define your coverage priorities by defining what you want to happen after you have a loss.  

 

  How Much Will my Fire Insurance Actually Pay?

Victims of Katrina, Sandy, Oakland Hills, San Diego etc - learned  that the amount of coverage
shown on their policies is not a guarantee but rather a limit of what the could collect after a loss.

After the Oakland Hills fires,in which over 6000 homes were destroyed, over 1500 families had to
sue to collect or were unable to collect on the replacement value. There are steps you can take -
must take - before you have a loss that can level the playing field.
  Is Flood Insurance Worth Having?

In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Sandy flood insurance rates have gone through the roof as insurance providers try and re-coup their losses. Now, new players are entering the market once dominated by the Federal National Flood Insurance Program.  As the picture to the left shows, maybe what you really need is not flood insurance, rather landslide insurance. They are two different things.
 
 
  How Much Should I Insure My Home For?

If you were to ask a contractor, a public adjuster and an insurance company how much to insure your home (structure) for, you will get three, possibly massively, different answers. It is a foregone conclusion that you will have to be prepared to fight for everything you can get from your insurance company. The key is to understand that the ultimate number cannot be exactly determined until you actually have the loss. Obtaining an appraisal now may not mean as much as it would to be able to re-create one right after the loss.  For this, you need detailed documentation, because the burden of proof is all on you. 
  How Safe is Your Home From Fire?

Why was one home taken by fire and the one right next it left standing?  Most homes lost to
brush fires are never touched by walls of flame, but are ignited or damaged by are radiant heat, or 
from flying embers that can travel for miles.  The sad part is that while you can and probably have 
already done 99 things to protect your home from fire,  it can be the 1 little thing you miss that can
do you in. When you become a client, we can help you ferret out the commonly missed points of
danger.

 

Questions for Your Contractor - What Would It Cost To... ?

Beyond the basic idea of creating a defensible space around your home, there is an evolving body of steps you can take to modify your home.  We try and keep our clients current as to about what the new technologies are and what they cost, and provide feedback from other high fire hazard area homeowners who have tried them at their homes. 

  What Good Is A Home Inventory?
A personal property home inventory can take a lot of time to do yourself or cost $250-$1000 or more if you have it done. Then, you have to keep it up to date, or it becomes quickly dated. The value of having of having a home inventory is because it can reduce claims settlement time from years to a few weeks or months, and can substantially increase your policy payout.  As with dwelling valuations, for most people the cost effective way is to leverage the capability of your digital camera to be able to re-create one later if needed.
  FAIR Plan Policy Holder Calls Acronym a "JOKE"
  
During testimony before the CA Dept. of Insurance it was reported at a 62 year old veteran was unable to reach a settlement with the Fair Plan for his claim made in the aftermath of the 2007 regional fires. By his account, the Fair Plan was holding up the entire claim by requiring specific information on each and every one of the over 2,800 book titles he claimed.  This avoidable dispute went on for years.
  Malibu Homeowner's Fooled by His "Wrap-Around Insurance" Plan.

" Wrap-around" homeowner's policies have seriously retrogressed in value.  Years ago, the purchase of the combination of a Fair Plan fire insurance policy and a homeowner's wrap-around policy, would result in having the exact same coverage as provided in a comprehensive single homeowners policy, this is largely no longer the case. While they still do provide some important coverage not offered by the Fair Plan, they commonly included "difference in conditions" limitation can negate other key coverage items.
Edvard Munch  Are You Living In An Insurance Bubble ... A False Comfort Zone?

Three things must happen before you have a major loss ... (1) your insurance, being your last line of defense must be free of un-intended gaps, (2), you must have some serious documentation in place, (3), your defensible space must be just that, and free from overlooked points of concern that could undo the entire plan.  For the most part, "brush area" residents lack all three!  The end result is having a large portion of your insurance that you will never stand a chance of collecting on.  In truth, your decision on what to do depends on your answer to this question ... if you have a total fire or other total loss, do you stay or do you go?  If you really want to get back into your home, then your pre-loss preparation means everything. If your agent or broker handling your insurance cannot help you in all three outcome areas, you are not being well served.