The Town of Paradise study shows wildfire risk mitigation can result in a 75% reduction in future insured losses
Entire communities in California’s Wildland Urban Interface (“WUI”) are now at risk from catastrophic wind-driven wildfires. The cost of homeowners insurance is dramatically increasing and availability itself has been reduced.
Working with the Town of Paradise, NHA assisted the Town to secure grant funding through the California Resilience Challenge for key analytical work on the potential reduction of insured losses for property damage carriers as a result of full implementation of wildfire risk mitigation measures, including hardening all homes to the latest IBHS standards for wildfires, as well as the creation and maintenance of wildfire buffer zones around developed areas in the WUI.
Our team’s work in Paradise shows that average annual insured losses from wildfire can be reduced by as much as 75% through a broad menu of wildfire risk mitigation measures. A weblink to this pivotal study is shown above.
While this is very positive news for both Paradise and other WUI communities, getting to full compliance is a challenge. The massive destruction in Paradise makes full compliance with the new IBHS building standards plausible; every new home is IBHS compliant. For built-out WUI communities, the high level of retrofits required for IBHS compliance is a serious challenge.
The acquisition and maintenance of wildfire buffer zones is also crucial. There are both federal and state grant funding sources available for this work.