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Jan 04

Homeowners Insurance Involved in California Firestorm


Last fall’s devastating California firestorms gripped the nation’s attention as flames engulfed whole communities, North and South. For Costa Mesa residents, the loss of life and wholesale destruction that played across our TV and laptop screens seemed otherworldly—almost unbelievable. Hundreds of thousands of residents displaced. Thousands of homes destroyed. In a year that brought an ample share of natural disasters (including Hurricanes Michael and Florence), to many Costa Mesa homeowners, this one was particularly distressing. It’s hard not to relate to our own homes and their irreplaceable contents—and to wonder if there isn’t anything wildfire-aware homeowners could have done to prevent such devastating losses.

In fact, at year’s end, The Wall Street Journal posted a video that explored a little-known service that exists to address that concern: private firefighters.

It turns out that some homeowners insurance companies who cover the mansions most exposed to wildfires contract with private companies to protect their investment. One such company is Capstone Fire & Safety Management. The Journal sent a reporter to ride along with a Capstone private firefighting unit as they visited Ventura County properties threatened in last November’s maelstrom. For the “pricey mansions” covered by their risk mitigation service, they assessed the oncoming danger and responded accordingly. That meant anything from simply checking in with homeowners to moving flammable objects away from structures. In extreme situations, they were prepared to spray fire-retardant foam on exposed areas.

In action, the service is limited in significant ways. Private personnel must keep in touch with their public counterparts to guarantee they do not slow down public firefighting efforts. In fact, private firefighters cannot enter any area that’s under an evacuation order. Even so, the service is not without controversy. “It does not seem fair,” one observer says, “that a wealthy person’s home could be saved over a lower-income person’s…”

The Journal’s report leaves that question unresolved—except for a spokesman’s closing observation. “In catastrophic situations,” he says, “I think the Capstone guys will do the right thing.” Since most of their personnel are retired from public departments, that seems likely.

You don’t have to live in wildfire country (or be a member of the jet set) to recognize that the cost of sufficient homeowners insurance belongs in every Costa Mesa real estate budget. Call me when it’s time to get started planning your next Costa Mesa real estate move!

We are built on a philosophy of Heritage & Hustle L3 is a full service real estate agency with a regional office located in the heart of #CostaMesa, offering a wide-array of custom services to meet their clients’ needs with roots in the community since 1976. It’s L3 mission to provide trusted, convenient, responsive service to ensure clients enjoy their real estate experience. L3 was originally formed to offer personal, concierge-level service as an alternative to the large, nationally based real estate companies. From its small beginnings of only two employees, L3 has grown to a full staff of 20 serving over 300 clients a year. L3 is not limited to serving just its clients; it is also committed to serving the community. Not only has L3 donated hundreds of hours to many area charities, they have also received the prestige of being named one of the #toprealestatecompaniesinCostaMesa If you’re interested in #buyingorsellinginOrangeCounty, turn to the experts. Turn to L3 and let them help you make your real estate buying or selling dreams come true. For more information or to get started on finding or selling your home contact L3 today at 714-444-4663 or email us at info@thel3.com

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