Wildland fire prevention
November 25, 2016
Voluntary Wildland Fire Mitigation is a MUST or Homeowners Might Have to Pay Higher Insurance Rates
Every home or parcel in Grand County is in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). The WUI is a set of conditions under which a wildland fire reaches beyond trees, brush and other natural fuels to ignite homes and their immediate surroundings. WUI is defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as "the presence of structures in locations where topographical features, vegetation fuel types, local weather conditions, and prevailing winds result in the potential for ignition of the structures within the area from flames and firebrands of a wildland fire." Our Grand County homes are at risk for higher insurance premiums or cancellation and possible legislation that would require disclosures at point-of-sale, or costly wildland fire mitigation requirements prior to the transfer of title.
The Grand County Board of REALTORS® and local REALTORS® are working to educate clients on how to be proactive without mandates. It is critical to stress how important the issue of home/property insurance and wildfire mitigation is for homeowners whose properties are directly affected by the WUI.
Local fire professionals seek homeowner cooperation and participation in the mitigation process and the insurance companies are demanding it. If the property owner does not comply with mitigation recommendations, they may find as a result that their insurance company will not renew their homeowner's policy or their annual premium may increase to an unaffordable level.
If you are trying to sell a house that hasn't been mitigated, insurance companies may refuse to insure the new buyer's purchase. Being proactive and spending some money up front to mitigate could potentially save you thousands of dollars thereafter. Contact your local fire district for a free wildfire hazard assessment of your property, including a list of mitigation recommendations.
Grand County Board of Realtors® / 970.887.9588 / http://www.gcbor.com