Wine Country Fire Fallout

By Bernard Lauper

Wine Country Fire Fallout

I recently had dinner with Latife Hayson, the top realtor in Napa Valley specializing in luxury homes, wineries and vineyards. Over dinner she told me that the vast majority of fire victims she is working with within Napa are not rebuilding. Why? Among a number of others, reasons include inadequate insurance, the workload involved with rebuilding, and a number of properties needing significant upgrades to ensure proper access by fire response teams

 Shortly after my dinner with Latife, I came across this article stating that some 70 percent of all home owners in the Wine Country fire were under insured and many will not be able to rebuild. I can only imagine the additional stress that the fire victims must be experiencing in learning they are not properly insured.

The findings reported in that article, as well as the information conveyed by Latife over dinner, only served to underscore the insights I’d put together in a January summary that looked back at the fires and offered thoughts on its effect on insurance for successful individuals, families, their possessions and their properties.

 With these hard lessons learned available to all, there is no time like the present to make sure you and your clients are properly insured and that you understand what you have and, more importantly, do not have for insurance coverage.

Taking proper risk mitigation steps now in preparing for the next fire season is vital. Removing leafs from your roof & gutter, having ample clearance immediately around your home, thinning out trees and brush for at least 100 feet around your home are a great place to start. 

Experience from the Wine Country fire clearly showed that numerous homes that were in the “middle” of the fire survived due to the fire mitigation efforts taken long before the fire started.

They say success without a plan is an accident, so plan now for success. We have resources to help, so feel free to drop a line