Wildfire season is well underway, with wildfires scorching a record breaking number of acres up and down California, and the peak of the season is yet to come. Mercury Insurance today announced two new programs the company is launching to help Californians better protect their homes and families if they live in areas prone to wildfires. Homeowners who take one or more steps to either harden their homes against wildfires or live in a community recognized by the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA) as a Firewise USA® site will be eligible to receive discounts of up to 18%. And, homeowners who have a California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan policy are now able to strengthen their protection with Mercury's new difference-in-conditions endorsement, which fills the gaps in their FAIR Plan coverage.
Mercury Insurance is one of the first companies to offer wildfire mitigation discounts to California homeowners living in the wildland urban interface. Homeowners who take property and community wildfire prevention measures could be eligible to save up to 18% on the wildfire premium portion of their insurance policy.
"We're in this together, which is why Mercury is engineering solutions to encourage proactive actions that better protect homeowners from wildfires," said Jane Li, Mercury Insurance's director of product management. "It's important for homeowners in these areas to take proactive steps to help shield their property from fire, and it's just as important for everyone in the community to work together to reduce their shared ignition risks, which could save them money and improve their insurance eligibility."
The property level discount applies to policies for hardened home structures and landscapes with sufficient defensible space. Installing a class "A" rated roof, using siding made of stucco, metal or brick, and regularly maintaining a fire-resistant landscape are a few examples of steps homeowners can take to earn a discount. To learn more about the precautions homeowners can take to maximize their discount, visit www.MercuryInsurance.com/wildfire-discounts or talk to a Mercury agent.
The community level discount is for homes that are located in a NFPA Firewise USA® Recognition Program site, shelter-in-place community or are part of a community with an active annual fuel mitigation program in place. Mercury has partnered with the NFPA to help identify homes that are eligible for coverage and savings based on location. Consumers can visit the NFPA's Firewise website to see where recognized sites are located and to learn more about how to participate in the program.
"It's important to realize that reducing wildfire losses is not just about a single home in a neighborhood," said Michele Steinberg, NFPA's wildfire division director. "When an entire neighborhood or community takes collective action, everyone benefits by reducing the threat of a wildfire. Firewise USA® is focused on community-wide behavior change over time that helps protect lives and property when neighbors follow the steps outlined in the program."
Homeowners, condo owners or renters with a California FAIR Plan policy can now get a Mercury Insurance difference-in-conditions endorsement to cover the gaps in the FAIR Plan policy—including water damages caused by broken pipes, theft and liability. Policyholders will also have the option for Mercury to cover damages from other perils, including windstorm, hail, riot or civil commotion, aircraft, vehicles and vandalism or malicious mischief.
"Mercury's difference-in-conditions endorsement could provide greater savings and even more protection for many Californians. The endorsement can be bundled with a Mercury auto policy for an even larger discount," Li said.
Mercury Insurance has also partnered with best-selling author and Cal Poly Pomona professor Douglas Kent on land management and wildfire mitigation techniques to provide homeowners with additional solutions to protect against wildfires.
Visit Mercury's website to learn more about its homeowners, condo and renters insurance along with the company's optional residential coverages including Home Cyber Protection Coverage, Identity Fraud Expense and Resolution Services Coverage, Home Systems Protection and Service Line Coverage.
About Mercury Insurance
Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization predominantly offering personal automobile, homeowners and commercial insurance through a network of independent agents in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. Since 1962, Mercury has specialized in offering quality insurance at affordable prices. For more information visit www.mercuryinsurance.com or Facebook and follow the company on Twitter.