Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hot Insurance Tales - Update

Almost exactly 2 months ago, we reported that AIG's Private Client Group policyholders rate extra protection, courtesy of their insurer. This was at the time of the "Castle Rock Fires" in Colorado.

According to ABC news, the same services have been made available to AIG clients in the path of the horrendous California fires. Homes and landscaping are being treated with fire retardant chemicals, at a cost of about $1,000, in an effort to stave off the flames.

This special service seems to work: according to AIG, "(s)ince the program was launched in June 2005, three homes have been saved directly as a result." Not a bad trade-off, considering the homes insured under this program average a cool (or is that hot?) $2 mil apiece.

UPDATE: Not all such solutions are insurance-based.

"As the Witch Creek fire raced through some of San Diego County's priciest neighborhoods and crept to the edge of others north and east of Rancho Santa Fe, not a single home in the five subdivisions that have implemented the strategy was lost, fire authorities said."

And what strategy (or, if you prefer, "strategery") was that, you may ask?

It seems that certain areas have implemented draconian zoning codes that require sprinkler systems, special landscaping and other measures designed to allow homeowners to ride out the fires if they're trapped "behind the lines." It's controversial, but it seems to work.
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