Homes Nationwide at Big Risk of Wildfire

300px-FEMA_-_7519_-_Photograph_by_Bryan_Dahlberg_taken_on_06-08-2002_in_ColoradoAccording to a recent analysis performed by Verisk Analytics, more than 4.5 million homes nationwide are at extreme risk for wildfires in the U.S.

The analysis comes near the close of the 2013 fire season; the most destructive wildfire season in Colorado history marked by one of the largest burns on record in California, which caused the deaths of 33 firefighters and strained U.S. Forest Service firefighting resources.

“Despite the fact that the number of acres burned in 2013 is lower than the past several years, our study shows insurer risk from wildfire is still significant,” says Neil Spector, president of Verisk Underwriting, in a statement. “In June, the risk played out in reality, with insurers incurring at least $385 million of losses due to the Colorado Black Forest fire, according to Verisk’s Property Claim Services unit. As losses continue to mount, managing wildfire risk needs to remain a top priority for property insurers.”

A bit of context: California leads the score of homes nationwide at high risk from wildfire – about 2 million homes. Idaho ranks first for the state with the highest percentage of properties at risk – with 24% of homes at high or extreme risk.


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