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Insurers help design disaster-resistant homes

Some of the most beautiful properties in California are unfortunately in areas prone to fires and other human-made or natural disasters. Those who wish and can afford to build there nevertheless still want to avoid receiving money property losses – there has been $170 billion paid in property losses here in the U.S. since 2016. With climate change a reality, that number is likely to continue to rise. This has led insurers to get involved with the planning and building of properties.

Do insurers do that?

Insurer's typical job is to pay customers claims, but companies risk managers are getting more involved in the front end of building projects. Common sense measures include:

  • Giving fire and emergency devices that will open security gates and disable systems that can hinder fire and rescue work
  • Building water reserves on the property that can augment fire departments' equipment and water
  • Analyzing the water table to determine if a location is too prone to flooding
  • Structural designs that fire, water or hurricane-resistant
  • Including rooms within the home that are safe for delicate valuables
  • Sensors that detect damaging leaks in plumbing and turn off the water

Quietly growing in popularity

This trend is not entirely new with PURE insurance offering services of risk specialists to customers who know to ask for them. There are also now stand-alone businesses inside some major property-casualty companies. They are no doubt popular as clients think about how to protect their significant investment. These companies once focused on larger commercial and private projects, but now are moving into private homes worth $1 million and up.

Worth the price

These recommendations generally drive up the cost of building by 10% to 15%. However, homeowners get both peace of mind and a reduction in the cost of insuring the property. Despite being smart and addressing foreseeable risks, homeowners and carriers may find areas of dispute. Those with questions can speak with attorneys who handle legal issues surrounding insurance.

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