The recent California Fires generated responses by Private Insurance Companies trying to get ahead of the fires before they did damage to homes the companies were insuring. The Insurance companies sent in private Fire Departments to save the homes.
Two articles recently highlight this potential. One article is by The Daily Bell that deals philosophically about this emerging reality, a reality that could be extended far beyond what it is currently, and the other article is from the WSJ that details examples of insurance companies using private fire fighters to protect properties they insure.
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From The Daily Bell
You pay property taxes, and these go to support indoctrination centers also known as public schools. They pay for local roads, local traffic enforcers, and firefighters. But these services are collectivized. The firefighters aren’t really there to save your home, they are there to keep the whole town from burning down.
Firefighters are likely some of the most dedicated public employees. The ones I have met often go into the profession for the right reasons, and take seriously their commitment to saving lives. Many are even volunteers. But still, they can only show up after they have been called. Many bravely rescue people from serious situations. But rarely is a structure saved.
That is where private insurance comes in. You purchase private home insurance so that in the event that your home burns down, you don’t lose all the money that has gone into it. But some companies go above and beyond when you purchase insurance from them.
Increasingly, insurance carriers are finding wildfires, such as those in California, are an opportunity to provide protection beyond what most people get through publicly funded fire fighting. Some insurers say they typically get new customers when homeowners see the special treatment received by neighbors during big fires.
“The enrollment has taken off dramatically over the years as people have seen us save homes,” Paul Krump, a senior executive at Chubb, said of the insurer’s Wildfire Defense Services. “It’s absolutely growing leaps and bounds.”
Chubb provides extra protection to the homes they insure in certain zip codes that are prone to wildfires. They get private firefighters on the scene before the building catches. This means instead of being left with a pile of ashes and a check to go about the arduous process of rebuilding your life, you are simply left with your home intact.
Obviously, this makes sense from the insurance company’s perspective as well. They are spending a little money on firefighters so they don’t have to spend a lot of money replacing homes.
During the worst of last month’s wildfires in Northern California, Dick Fredericks got a phone call that passed on “some magical words”: His house was safe.
The message from a private firefighting service hired by his home insurer, Chubb Ltd.CB 0.63% , was accompanied by an email with some two dozen photos, including one of the service’s firefighters pumping water from Mr. Fredericks’s swimming pool to extinguish a brush fire on his Sonoma Valley property.
Increasingly, insurance carriers are finding wildfires, such as those in California, are an opportunity to provide protection beyond what most people get through publicly funded fire fighting. Some insurers say they typically get new customers when homeowners see the special treatment received by neighbors during big fires…..
The private-sector activity calls to mind the early days of fire insurance in the U.S., in the 18th and 19th centuries before municipal fire services became common. Back then, metal-plaque “fire marks” were affixed to the front of insured buildings as a guide for insurers’ own fire brigades as to which fires to put out, said spokeswoman Loretta Worters of the Insurance Information Institute.