New Mercury Insurance Programs Target California Homeowners’ Wildfire Risk

October 21, 2020

Mercury Insurance has launched two new programs designed 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%.

Additionally, homeowners who have a California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan policy are now eligible for Mercury’s new difference-in-conditions endorsement, which fills the gaps in their FAIR Plan coverage.

Mercury Insurance offers 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.

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.

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.

The endorsement can be bundled with a Mercury auto policy for an even larger discount.

Mercury Insurance has also partnered with 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.

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.

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission.

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