How Do I Find Homeowners Insurance in Brush Fire Areas?

The big-name insurance companies like, State Farm, Farmers, AAA, and anyone else you can think of are all greatly limiting their willingness to insure homes in wildfire-prone areas. If you’ve stumbled across this blog, you’ve probably already been declined by one of these companies or you’ve received an astronomical renewal bill and assumed they don’t really want your business.

An example of a hard-to-insure home do to brush, road access, and proximity to a fire station.

So what are your insurance options for your hard-to-insure home?

The California FAIR Plan is still an option. They will insure your home for up to $3,000,000. They will insure the home no matter the proximity to wildfire danger areas. The downside is that they only insure against the risk of fire. The FAIR plan does not cover water, theft, or liability claims. This policy is usually enough to satisfy a mortgage company’s insurance requirement though. Getting a policy is a cumbersome process. You will have to submit photos and wait a few days before being offered a policy. Be sure to shop early. You also need to work with a broker, such as myself in order to get a quote. The FAIR plan does not work directly with the public.

Your other option is the Surplus Lines Market. Multinational Insurance companies like Lloyd’s of London, Great Lakes SE,  Lexington, and Scottsdale are some of the Surplus Lines carriers still doing business in the California Homeowners market. Managing General Agencies do the underwriting on these homes. Brokers, like myself, help you shop your home to the various MGAs to find the best fit for you.

Please reach out if you have any questions or if I can be of assistance.

How to buy flood insurance

With the heavy rains Northern California experienced last month, you might be wondering about flood insurance.  Flood insurance usually is a separate policy designed to help protect your home and belongings if they are damaged in a flood. Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. 

Where can you buy flood insurance?

You usually purchase flood insurance through an agent or broker. The main provider of Flood Insurance is NFIP which stands for the National Flood Insurance Program. NFIP prices are reasonably set.

They allow up to $250,000 in building coverage for homes. 

  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Furnaces and water heaters
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances like dishwashers
  • Permanently installed carpeting
  • Permanently installed cabinets, paneling, and bookcases
  • Window blinds
  • Foundation walls, anchorage systems, and staircases.
  • Detached garages
  • Fuel tanks, well water tanks and pumps, and solar energy equipment

NFIP allows up to $100,000 in personal property coverage for homes.

  • Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
  • Curtains
  • Washer and dryer
  • Portable and window air conditioners
  • Microwave oven
  • Carpets not included in building coverage (e.g., carpet installed over wood floors)
  • Valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)

What other options are there for flood insurance?

Recently many other competitors have entered the flood insurance marketplace. They offer higher coverages than NFIP. It is definitely worth checking with these other companies to see if you can get a lower premium or coverages that better meet your needs.  Neptune Insurance is one of the new major companies. They will offer up to $4,000,000 in Dwelling coverage on a flood policy. Other companies offering flood insurance include AonEdge, Hippo, Palomar, Sterling Surplus, Wright, and ResiFlood. In addition to offering different coverage limits, many of these companies will allow for loss of use coverage, dwelling coverage for another structure on your property, and coverage for pool damage. 

Insurance Partners Spotlight: Employers Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Employers Insurance specializes in Workers’ Comp for small businesses. They are one of the easiest insurance companies to work with. I can usually get a quote for you in just minutes. 

Like most insurance companies they have targeted classes of businesses where they offer the best rates. 

Hospitality and Food Services

  • bed and breakfasts
  • country clubs
  • restaurants
  • food trucks
  • casual dining

Retail Stores

  • clothing stores
  • electronic stores
  • florists
  • supermarkets

Medical Services

  • dentists
  • optometrists
  • psychologists
  • physicians


  • colleges
  • vocational
  • childcare centers
  • nurseries
  • charter schools

Professional Services

  • accountants
  • day spas
  • barbers
  • law firms
  • printers
  • libraries

Automotive Services

  • auto repair
  • service centers
  • gas stations
  • oil change garages

Artisan Contractors

  • landscapers
  • HVAC/Plumbers
  • electricians
  • interior painters

Whether or not you are in the target class Employers will offer a substantial 10% discount on the insurance premium if the business is a member of the California Restaurant insurance or if the business has a Blue Cross Group Health Plan. 

What do you need to get a quote?

Make sure you have the FEIN which is sometimes called the Federal Tax ID Number. Make sure you have a good estimate for your payroll.