Homeowners Insurance Resources
Wildland fire has become a year-round threat across the nation, and California is no different! The current drought conditions have caused dry vegetation, and when coupled with extreme weather conditions wildland fires become more and more commonplace. Because of these conditions, homeowners have had to face the challenging environment of obtaining or keeping their Homeowners insurance. Many local residents and businesses have received cancellation notices and are finding it challenging to obtain and keep adequate fire insurance coverage to protect the investment they have made in their homes.
To help the community navigate this frustrating process, the Chino Hills City Council invited a representative from the California State Insurance Commissioner's Office to talk about the resources that can be provided to residents and businesses.
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Tools and Resources to help you find Homeowners Insurance
The information below has been obtained from the California Department of Insurance website and has been compiled together on this page for your convenience. The information may change without notice, so make sure to visit the California Department of Insurance website or call them directly at 1 (800) 927-4357 for any questions and to confirm all information.
The California Department of Insurance also assists homeowners in obtaining insurance with the Home Insurance Finder website. Use this tool to find insurance companies and agents/brokers licensed to sell homeowners, renters, condominiums, or mobile home insurance, including in areas with higher fire risk.
You can also read the Department's Top Ten Tips for Finding Residential Insurance.
What can I do if I receive a cancellation notice?
If you receive a cancellation notice, the State Insurance Commissioner’s office suggests you contact your insurance carrier and discuss any efforts you have made to protect your home from wildfire and the efforts that the City of Chino Hills and the Chino Valley Fire District makes each year to reduce the fire risk.
To assist you with this conversation, here are some of the ways the City of Chino Hills and the Chino Valley Fire District work together to reduce the fire risk in Chino Hills.
- Chino Valley Fire District has an active Vegetation Management program in place. As part of the program, the Fire District conducts weed abatement inspections each spring and fall to ensure compliance with the California Fire Code and other laws related to vegetation, which includes proper clearance of tumbleweeds and other combustible vegetation and defensible space. The Fire District requires all parcels less than 5 acres to be clear of weeds that would pose a fire threat. Parcels greater than 5 acres are required to comply with fire breaks on the property and a 100’ fire break around the perimeter of the parcel. We have specific requirements for Edison transmission lines as it relates to vegetation clearance under and adjacent to lines/towers, and we require a minimum of 20 feet of clearance along all private and public roads. The program is not just for vacant parcels but includes all residential, commercial, and industrial parcels that may have vegetation.
- Chino Valley Fire District personnel are active members of the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council (CCFSC) which takes a proactive approach to mitigate fire hazards within Carbon Canyon. The Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council has been recognized as a FIREWISE Community by FIREWISE Communities USA, which is a product of the National Fire Protection Association. The CCFSC performs community outreach related to maintaining defensible space and educating the public on fire threats, as well as works holds two brush drop off each year, giving local residents a means of discarding excess vegetation from their respective properties.
- Chino Valley Fire District personnel encourage local residents, especially those living within Carbon Canyon or adjacent to designated open spaces to participate in the Ready, Set, Go program. Although the city of Chino Hills has had a long-standing requirement of Class A roofs and vents on chimneys, a homeowner can take steps to further harden their home. The Fire District outlines this information in the Ready, Set, Go brochure. Learn more about Ready, Set, Go! (PDF). *Hardening one’s home includes retrofitting your home with ignition resistive features.
- The City of Chino Hills is committed to reducing the fire fuel in our open space areas by conducting Annual weed abatement. This program begins in April each year and continues through July. The work is performed to provide a buffer or fuel modification zone between structures and the open space. This work is required pursuant to the Chino Valley Fire District's code.
- The City of Chino Hills along with Chino Valley Fire has provided a letter than you can provide to your Homeowner's or Business Insurance Company that will assist you in outlining the ways both are committed to reducing the fire risk in our community. Letter Addressing Reducing the Fire Risk (PDF)
What if I can't find insurance? Here's a last resort option.
If after shopping the market you are still having difficulty obtaining residential insurance, you may want to contact the California FAIR Plan to explore your coverage options. As the insurer of last resort, the California FAIR Plan should only be considered after a diligent search for coverage in the traditional insurance market. If you are turned down or non-renewed by your current insurance company or are otherwise in need of coverage, you may apply for coverage under the FAIR Plan through an agent or broker licensed to sell property insurance, or you may contact the FAIR Plan directly at 1 (800) 339-4099.
Please note that the FAIR Plan only provides coverage for the losses caused by Fire or Lightning, Internal Explosion, and Smoke. For an additional premium, Extended Coverage (windstorm, hail, explosion, riot or civil commotion, aircraft, vehicles, and volcanic eruption) and Vandalism or Malicious Mischief may be added to the policy.
Since the FAIR Plan policy does not cover all the perils insured under a traditional homeowners' insurance policy such as theft or liability, you may want to consider purchasing a separate Differences in Conditions (DIC) policy in addition to the FAIR Plan policy. DIC insurance is designed to fill in gaps in insurance coverage. It provides expanded coverage for some perils that are not covered by the FAIR plan policy. This page provides a list of carriers currently offering DIC policies. You may also wish to contact an agent or broker to help you shop around for this type of coverage.
Locate a Residential Policy Post Declared Disaster
If you cannot recall the name of the insurance company covering your residential property, visit the Department's Residential Insurance Policy Locator page.