California to require insurance discounts for property owners who reduce wildfire risk
The California Public Utilities Commission on Monday approved a request from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to require property owners who reduce their property wildfire risk through a voluntary fire risk management program to pay fire districts insurance discounts.
The PUC said it would require those programs to start in 2020 and offered no timeline for the start of the program.
“This is a significant step in our ongoing effort to enhance the state’s wildfire protection by protecting the most vulnerable properties,” said California Public Utilities Commissioner Geoffrey H. King. “The program proposed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will bring even more fairness to our wildfire protection system by ensuring that more of the property owners participating in the program will pay the cost of that cost-sharing.”
The PUC is required by law to approve the request.
The PUC decision marks an initial step in a broader state effort to encourage the practice of voluntary fire risk management.
The program was modeled after programs in other states, including Texas, California and Arizona. Those programs require property owners who voluntarily reduce the risk of wildfire in their properties to pay a percentage of the cost of the risk reduction for the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.