New study shows 10 feet of defensible space dramatically reduces wildfire risk

Wildfire risk across the western United States has become a challenging issue for the insurance industry, especially in California, where recent loss events, regulatory pressures, and updated analytics are resulting in rapid change.

The analysis in a new report, conducted by CAPE Analytics and HazardHub, seeks to help stakeholders better understand and quantify certain wildfire risk mitigation measures, specifically vegetation management. The results of this landmark study show that properties in high hazard areas can dramatically reduce their wildfire risk by cutting back vegetation in Zone 1, defined by CAPE as 0 to 10 feet from the structure. In fact, homes in very high hazard zones with heavy vegetation coverage in CAPE Zone 1 have a 500% higher loss ratio compared to homes with defensible space.

The level of risk reduction that comes from maintaining just 10 feet of defensible space is all the more impactful because such measures are a realistic and achievable mitigation option for most homeowners. Read additional key insights and results from the full study, available here: