The insurer has contracted the private wildland firefighting firm to protect covered homes in California.
Californian homeowners with State Farm fire insurance coverage will now be protected by private wildland firefighting services from Wildfire Defense Systems. This is positive California insurance news for policyholders in a state increasingly affected by season-long wildfires.
This means that private firefighting crews may be dispatched to protect covered homes in the state.
According to a Mercury News report, as of April 1 citing a letter from the insurer, Wildfire Defense Systems has been contracted to help provide State Farm fire insurance policyholders with added protection. This means that in certain circumstances, firefighters may be dispatched to policyholder homes in California, as well as in Washington state, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona. According to the private firm’s official website, its property defense services are provided at a “wildfire-agency scale”.
“If your home is located in an area within an active wildfire, WDS may visit your property to assess the threat and may take proactive measures,” read the letter.
Among the actions the wildland firefighting company may take include extinguishing embers or fires located on an insured’s property. It may also include clearing leaf litter and brush from the area of the home, applying a flame-retardant gel, and setting up sprinkler systems.
The goal of the State Farm fire insurance service is not to combat wildfires but to protect policyholders.
“This service is not about fighting wildfires but about protecting property, and we believe it is an important benefit to our customer. While Wildfire Defense Systems Inc. focuses on protecting property, firefighters can concentrate on fighting the wildfire,” said an email statement from Jordi Ortega, a spokesperson for the insurance company.
The insurer has been offering various types of wildfire mitigation services since last year, when it launched a pilot State Farm wildfire insurance project with WDS for Oregon and Colorado customers. Wildfire Defense Systems has been offering wildfire loss-prevention programs to insurers since 2008. It calls itself “the nation’s largest insurer wildfire service provider.”
“We’re a contributor, we don’t replace or supplant or assume the responsibility of any of the public sector firefighters or resources on the incident,” said WDS President David Torgerson. “We simply provide additional support and help insured properties so they have a better chance of surviving the fire.”