In this issue of our POST Newsletter, we look at wildfire concerns, how to mitigate loss, wildfire’s effect on the insurance market, and claims trends.
What is Causing Increased Frequency and How We Can Help with Key Mitigation Solutions
2021 closes as another record drought year for California, hitting the Wine industry especially hard. With the Dixie fire as the 2nd largest in state history, all eyes are on how to mitigate risk…now, and for the future. Unusual weather patterns-attributed to climate change-coupled with poorly managed forestry mitigation practices, have left more fuel on the forest floor to burn, causing fires to burn hotter and faster than ever before. Human error has contributed to the problem as well…exacerbating extreme fire conditions into the perfect storm for wildfire across the region.
Reference the CoreLogic 2021 Wildfire Infographic Report shows more details on what we can do as homeowners, insurance, and city planners to help mitigate risk.
A 3rd party assessment of your property can be an effective way to identify reasonable methods to improve and protect your physical assets. Resources including drones, mapping, and clearing of defensible space are basic techniques available to winery owners from an array of vendors now operating in California.
Higher wildfire risk has caused an escalation in property insurance premiums, or-worse-carriers exiting the California property market entirely causing a hardening in the property market. The FAIR plan provides limited relief but may not provide limits sufficient to fully replace damaged property or satisfy loan covenants.
The November 2nd publication from Winebusiness.com below sheds light on a recent lawsuit over claims of the insurance carrier not covering full limits for loss is currently in the courts.
Napa Valley Resort Destroyed By Glass Fire Sues Insurance Carriers
Read the full article for a deeper dive into available limits, deductibles and preparing for the possibility of total loss on winebusiness.com
Current & Future Legislation
As seen in an October 2021 article published by the North Bay Business Journal
California Insurance Commissioner Orders Key Fixes for Winery, Vineyard, Farm Insurance Policies After Fire Losses
”Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara ordered the California FAIR Plan, the state’s insurer of last resort, to increase 24-year-old coverage limits and doubled down on a pledge from this year to require insurers to price in mitigation measures that property owners already were taking to help prevent losses. Senate Bill 11, which unlocks the statutory shackles that have prevented the state’s insurer of last resort from writing fire policies for winery and vineyard buildings and infrastructure.”
“EPIC has been a true partner in the development of our safety program, resulting in a dramatic decrease in claims and cost over the last few years. Their service has engaged with our property safety leaders by delivering meaningful reporting and leading quarterly team reviews with the whole team. This gives us the visibility and accountability that a strong safety program requires to be successful. Employee safety is a top priority for our agency and EPIC helps us keep that front and center across our estates.“
Client Testimonial, Napa Winery
EPIC has launched TEAM INFERNO, a robust collaboration of EPIC’s executive team, concerned citizens, winery clients, insurance carriers, and sources for leading-edge fire detection and suppression technology to advance discussions and lead the way around our ‘new reality’ with climate change and wildfires.
We encourage you to support our collaboration, and to take part in the solutions we’re creating to allow for resiliency and sustainability of your business enterprise for the future. Ask your EPIC representative how you can participate in the discussion.
California Sustainable Wine Growing Alliance
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) is a San Francisco-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers to promote the benefits of sustainable winegrowing practices, enlist industry commitment and assist in implementation of the Sustainable Winegrowing Program.
EPIC Events for All Sectors
Explore upcoming webinars and in-person events hosted by EPIC teams around the country. Learn more about risk management, industry best practices, and how things the effects of climate change can affect your business. We look forward to meeting you at an upcoming event.
EPIC WINERY PRACTICE
Faced with a changing climate and a seemingly unending series of natural disasters, California wineries must contend with a complex variety of human, economic, and natural threats to their survivability and sustainability. Addressing these challenges in a nimble and creative way is why we created the EPIC Winery Practice.
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