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11:42 AM
Nathan Golia
Nathan Golia
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Insurers Offer Perks to Wildfire Insurance Customers

Chubb and Chartis have made news recently for high-value customers in wildfire-prone areas.

Yesterday, we reported on Chartis' new offerings to customers of its Private Client Group's Wildfire Protection Unit. In addition to personnel support, Chartis is using RedZone software to identify properties in the path of dangerous blazes.

Last week, >the AP reported on a similar program in place at Chubb Personal Insurance that is being tested in the wake of the fires in Colorado. The article profiled Eric Morris, a private firefighter Chubb sent into the conflagration to assist local firefighting agencies in protecting the company's high-value insured properties (typically valued between $400,000 and $3 million.)

Here is an excerpt from the article (which also features comment directly from Chubb and from the head of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association):

For insurers, hiring their own crew is worth the cost. They spend thousands on well-equipped, federally rated firefighters, potentially saving hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to replace a home and its contents.

Insurance companies began sending crews to wildfires around 2006, said Paul Broyles, former head of fire operations at the National Interagency Fire Center, which coordinates federal firefighting efforts from Boise, Idaho. Land use changes in the past two decades have allowed more homes to be built in or near wildfire-prone areas, prompting the insurance companies to offer such a service, said Michael Barry of the New York-based industry funded Insurance Information Institute.

"They got a job to do just like we do, and it's a legitimate response by the insurance companies," Broyles said.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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