Wildfire Defense Services Endorsement
For California Policyholders
California Dwelling Home and Homesaver (Landlord) insurance policies now include a wildfire defense services endorsement. We consider it an important part of our wildfire strategy in California to help you protect what matters, and offer it to you at no additional cost.
The endorsement is specifically designed as another layer of protection for your home or rental property from the threat of wildfires.
How It Works
Travelers has contracted with Wildfire Defense Systems, Inc. (WDS), a private company that specializes in wildfire mitigation and loss prevention services.
During a wildfire, WDS will supplement local emergency response services and may take preventative measures on or around your property. For example, WDS may remove brush and sources of fuel, or apply vent tape, fire-blocking gel and fire retardant.
It’s important to understand, WDS is not a first responder. There is no guarantee the company will provide all wildfire mitigation services to all homes threatened by a wildfire. WDS provides service to as many homes as it can, based on company guidelines that consider safety, weather conditions and the fire’s proximity.
Frequently Asked Questions
WDS specializes in wildfire education, loss prevention, and wildfire response services. It has a contract with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to provide wildfire suppression services for the USFS. It also contracts with insurance companies to provide wildfire loss prevention services for their customers.
WDS will determine if and when to access an insurance customer’s property to provide fire mitigation services when a customer’s home is in imminent threat of a loss by wildfire.
Many elements including safety, weather conditions and proximity to the fire are factored into WDS’s decision to provide these services.
WDS’s goal is to provide an additional layer of prevention and mitigation services to local emergency responders. WDS specifically works to protect homes from wildfires with services that are often beyond what local fire departments may be able to provide.
WDS will attempt to access all homes in an area imminently threatened by a wildfire. Based on the severity of the event, there is no guarantee that WDS will be able to provide services to all homes in a particular area.
WDS’s response is also guided by organizations like CAL FIRE and other state and/or federal agencies. These agencies control access to areas threatened by wildfire.
In the event of a wildfire, WDS maps and monitors the fire in relation to insurance carriers’ customer locations. It uses the largest private wildfire fleet in the country, as well as proprietary wildfire forecasting and predictive analytics systems to identify homes that could potentially be affected by the wildfire event.
WDS response teams monitor properties before, during and after active wildfire events. This allows WDS to take necessary loss prevention actions. This may include brush removal, fuel source mitigation, application of vent tape, fire blocking gel and/or fire retardant and/or closing of structure openings.
In addition to loss prevention and mitigation services, WDS may also remove patio furniture, firewood, pine needles, dead leaves and/or similar items that are within five feet of the home. WDS may cut down shrubs and trees and may check gutters to remove combustible items like pine needles and dead leaves.
WDS will not be able to service any property that is inaccessible because of a locked gate or any other barrier.
None of the components in the fire retardant that WDS uses contain toxic materials. The fire retardant is primarily ammonium phosphate or ammonium polyphosphate that has been tested and is safe for land application as a fire retardant.
When applied, about 85% of the fire retardant solution is water. If a domestic or farm animal ingests a small amount of something covered with the retardant, WDS is not aware of any harmful effect.
WDS follows Federal Protocol to not apply fire retardant within 300 feet of any natural water source.
Yes. Once there is no further threat of wildfire, WDS will typically return to the properties they serviced to perform clean up. Based on weather conditions, there is no guarantee that WDS will be able to provide clean up services to all impacted homes, but they will service as many homes as they can per their protocol.
No. The endorsement provides WDS loss prevention services that may include brush removal, fuel source mitigation, application of vent tape, fire blocking gel and/or fire retardant and/or closing of structure openings. Pre-inspection services are not included. Visit Travelers Prepare & Prevent website for tips to prepare for a wildfire.
WDS has trained fire personnel that provide these services. These services are supplemental to all other public first responders and are not first responder services.
Yes. WDS works with local fire response teams to coordinate response efforts for a wildfire incident. WDS services do not replace local emergency response services.
In the event of a wildfire, it is not necessary to contact WDS.
Your safety is our priority during a wildfire. To protect yourself and your family, you should always follow evacuation orders. When you are safe, if you need to report a claim, please contact Travelers at 1.800.252.4633.
You should always follow evacuation orders, and only take preventative actions if it is deemed safe to do so.
If it is safe, you may want to consider removing patio furniture, firewood, pine needles, dead leaves and/or similar items that are within five feet of your home. You can also check the gutters to ensure they are cleared of combustible items like pine needles and dead leaves. If there is a sprinkler system, watering the property within 30 feet of your home may also be helpful.
You can obtain additional advice at Travelers Prepare & Prevent.
If damage to an insured structure such as your home occurs from WDS’s wildfire defense mitigation, Travelers will cover the damage up to the policy limit. There will be no impact to your premium, and a deductible will not apply.
No. There will be no underwriting or eligibility impact to the policy if damages to an insured structure occur as a result of wildfire mitigation services.
When you are safe, if you need to report a claim, please contact Travelers at 1.800. 252.4633.
Travelers has hundreds of specially trained catastrophe response experts throughout the country who are prepared to respond to a disaster site in 24 hours or less. We're ready to help, wherever and whenever a catastrophe strikes.
Our Enterprise Response strategy enables us to assign additional claim professionals and support staff from our other offices across the country.
In addition to notifying Travelers, WDS will typically provide a door hanger or other material notifying the homeowner that their property has been serviced.
The endorsement is being added at no additional charge to all new and existing California Dwelling Home and Homesaver policies, effective on June 3, 2019, authorizing a wildfire defense service to access the policyholder’s property.
The additional service is not available to customers who obtain fire coverage through the California FAIR Plan and have a Difference in Conditions Endorsement with Travelers, or customers who decide they do not want the service.
If a policy is cancelled or non-renews, the endorsement will not apply as of the policy cancellation or non-renewal effective date.
Yes, as long as we are continuing to provide such a service, the policy will renew with the Wildfire Defense Services Endorsement. Please note that a policy must continue to meet applicable eligibility requirements to qualify for renewal.
No. You may opt out of the Wildfire Defense Services Endorsement at any time. If you’re a Travelers customer, call us at 1.888.534.7552.