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Fire Insurance
updated: Dec 04, 2013, 1:00 PM

Hi Edhat community,

We've recently purchased a home that is in a "High Fire Zone" and are needing to purchase extra coverage. Can anyone recommend a provider for coverage as State Farm does not underwrite or offer catastrophic coverage and we're looking for any recommendations on insurance companies who offer this coverage.


Places People Are Talking About:

Allied Insurance Baxter Insurance
Brown & Brown InsuranceChubbSafeco
Travelers Insurance

What People Are Saying:

 COMMENT 474242 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 01:08 PM

We live on the Riviera and Travelers Insurance is the only agency that would cover us


 COMMENT 474243 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 01:09 PM

I had a similar problem - I contacted Baratto and Sullivan and they got me signed up with Safeco - problem solved. They were easy to deal with and really helped in finding me what I was looking for.


 COMMENT 474244 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 01:12 PM

Chubb ain't cheap but they're good. Our neighbor in the Goleta foothills had coverage through them and during the Gap fire Chubb sent a dedicated two-man team and truck to her high end home for four days during the fire. We chatted with the guys repeatedly and found they were 55 year old retired firefighters making some "easy money" watching the home. They ultimately blanketed the home and sprayed fire retardant to prevent the place from burning down. That sure wasn't easy money at the end but the home was unscathed. We switched to Chubb the next year. Not sure if they do only an extra umbrella plan. We purchased the original coverage plan for our home through Hub on Alamar.


 COMMENT 474246P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 01:22 PM

We live in a high fire area, used to have State Farm but it became too expensive. We use Allied Insurance (Nationwide) through Deyette McCloskey And Associates
1532 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 962-1965
They are very good!


 COMMENT 474247P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 01:25 PM

We've got Mercury through a local broker. Have not had any claims, so no real-world test of how good it is.


 COMMENT 474260 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 01:57 PM

Farmers, Thana Robinson.


 COMMENT 474273 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 02:37 PM

Contact Brown & Brown Insurance, they work with all of the major carriers and have the best options for homes in high fire zones. 965-0071.


 COMMENT 474280 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 02:56 PM

Thanks everyone. Such a big help!


 COMMENT 474282 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 03:00 PM

I can highly recommend Baxter Insurance.


 COMMENT 474297 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 03:44 PM

If you get turned down by all those companies you can get California Fair plan. Apply yourself it's a lot cheaper than going through a broker.


 COMMENT 474326 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 04:52 PM

Fairplan has max coverage of $250K. (this was true 2 years ago anyway). After a claim, you must rebuild on same lot-they dont just give you a check. The B.O.S. is trying to re-zone much of Gaviota so that even if you have a permitted structure, it may become impossible to re-build after a fire.


 COMMENT 474338P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 05:13 PM

Try your best to avoid having to go with California Fair Plan. Had it for insurance and lost a house in the Tea Fire. It was very difficult. No housing allowance during rebuild. Had to pay $14k for removal of debris which came out of rebuild amount. Agents difficult to work with. And premiums were high for amount of coverage plus an additional wrap around policy was required for theft and liability.

Best of luck to you.


 COMMENT 474343 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 05:23 PM

Don't use CA Fair Plan, it is only for fire, doesn't cover wind or water damage or liability. If you can't get with a standard carrier then an experienced broker will shop your coverage through a Surplus Lines Broker like Lexington, Lloyds or Scotsdale. It may cost more but that's because it's a real policy, CA Fair Plan is a LAST resort. I'm an Agent, I know about this from experience and after the Tea Fire & Jesusita Fire the people that had CA Fair Plan were frustrated because they wanted it to be so much more than it was... your home is your most valuable asset, insure it properly.


 COMMENT 474365 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 06:37 PM

Chubb is the best. We have used them for more years, than I care to count.


 COMMENT 474371 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 07:05 PM

Yes, Chubb is the best, IF they will insure you. It really depends where you are at if you'll be eligible, you may have to go with a Surplus Lines carrier. I second Brown & Brown, they know their stuff and can find the best insurance for hard to place risks.


 COMMENT 474376P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 07:32 PM

Very helpful information fellow readers. What sterling results with Chubb. Would also imagine the realtor who sold the house could advise.


 COMMENT 474418 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 08:52 PM

My homeowners insurance policy was terminated by my insurance company and I ended up calling Baxter Insurance on Carrillo. They offferd me policies with Chubb and hartford. I went with Chubb -as it was the better policy.


 COMMENT 474445P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-05 06:45 AM

I used to live on the Riviera and Chubb was the only company that offered enough coverage. California Fair Plan didn't go high enough.


 ABERMANT agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-05 06:56 AM

We lost our home during the Tea Fire. Chubb was our insurer (through Hub International - Darren Caesar). Chubb was outstanding. However, I believe Chubb withdrew from the SB High Fire market. But if they are willing to insure your home, they are the best. Make sure you get extended replacement cost plus code upgrades plus deluxe coverage. . . while the additional coverage will cost you more, you'll sleep better at night knowing you're fully covered.


 COMMENT 474583 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-05 12:20 PM

We also lost our home in the Tea Fire. Avoid California Fair Plan at all cost! We had it and as 338 said there's no housing allowance, debris removal isn't covered (we paid for it out of pocket), and it's priced too high for what you get. Don't let an agent tell you that you can get ONLY CFP, that's what our agent told us and it's not true. Go with Chubb if possible. Contact www.carehelp.org They assist fire victims but have valuable information on insurance in high fire areas.


 COMMENT 474654 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-05 04:11 PM

Our previous insurer dropped out of the Ca. High Fire Danger Area coverage. We were left stranded. AAA won't cover High Fire Areas. We are now with Travelers. However, I had to fight Travelers for a year to get our insurance coverage high enough ($450-$500/ sq. ft. for Santa Barbara). Their software averaged building costs with Santa Maria and the north county. I had to pay a private assessor to prove to them that we needed XXX coverage. It is all good now.



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