Have you ever felt that all of the hard work that your recognized Firewise Community is doing to reduce your wildfire risk should be recognized by your insurance company? After all you have invested time and money working collaboratively to implement science based changes making your community more resilient while that other community down the road has chosen not to act? Why are you both paying the same rate for insurance?
Well one insurance company has recognized the difference living in a Firewise Community makes to the safety of lives and property in that community. USAA is one of the first large national insurers to recognize the value of your hard work. Firewise has teamed up with USAA to define the boundaries of Firewise Communities in three states and according to a USAA press release, Eligible “USAA members now can save money on their homeowner’s insurance premiums by living within the boundaries of a recognized Firewise Communities/USA® program. Currently, the discounts are available to eligible members in California, Colorado and Texas, three states prone to wildfire activity.” Also according to the press release USAA is going to continue to pursue expanding this program to other wildfire prone states. USAA offers insurance policies to eligible current and former members of the US armed forces and their families.
Other WUI products are also available to members including, a property risk assessment tool, WDSPro App, (a free app) that shares tips and advice for improving home survivability by completing an individual property assessment and an opportunity to enroll in an additional program, their Wildfire Response Program.
Homeowners and communities do not have to be helpless victims. They can roll up their sleeves and work together with guidance from local fire, agency partners and state liaisons to create Firewise Communities. The hard work that these Firewise Communities have invested over the years has seen significant saves and success stories. This last year alone Firewise Investments totaled over 33 million dollars in value both in money and sweat equity. Over time a Firewise community engaged in making change year after year and educating and mentoring new residents creates resilient communities that can suffer much less loss in the event of a wildfire and is now being noticed by insurers.