More than two million California homes face extreme wildfire hazards and many of these homes are located in densely populated suburban neighborhoods, according to new industry research.
Analysis by the Insurance Information Network of CaliforniaÃ‚ (IINC) and Verisk Insurance Solutions Ã¢â‚¬“ Underwriting, reveals that the majority of these high-risk homes are located in Southern California, though Northern California has a higher percentage of high risk homes.
Candysse Miller, executive director of IINC, says:
Nearly 15 percent of the 13.5 million homes in California face severe wildfire risk. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nearly as many homes as are in the entire state of Colorado. Wildfire risk is not exclusive to mountain or rural communities. Many of these homes are in densely-populated suburban neighborhoods.Ã¢â‚¬
More than 417,000 of these high-risk homes are located in Los Angeles County and Southern California counties represent 53 percent of the high-risk homes statewide, the study found.
However, Northern California has a higher percentage of high-risk homes. The counties of Alpine, Mariposa, Tuolumne and Nevada account for more than 95,000 homes, but more than 77 percent of these, or nearly 74,000, are considered high-risk.
Statewide, insurers protected more than $3 trillion of residential property in 2011, according to the California Department of Insurance, less than 1.25 percent of which was insured by the California FAIR Plan, the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s insurer of last resort. As a result, private insurers cover nearly 99 percent of the insured residential properties in the state.
For a county-by-county view ofÃ‚ California’s wildfire risk, check out this interactive map on the IINC website.
More facts and statistics on wildfires available here.