Report: Insurers hired private firefighters for wealthy clients during wildfires

Insurers such as Chubb and American International Group deployed private firefighting crews to make sure certain clients had homes when the fires were over

By FireRescue1 Staff

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Private firefighters were hired by insurance companies to protect the homes of wealthy clients during the California wildfires.

SF Gate reported that insurers such as Chubb and American International Group protected certain clients’ homes by hiring their own private firefighting crews to try and prevent the fires from spreading to certain addresses.

In a report by the Wall Street Journal, policyholders who wanted this protection could pay "anywhere from thousands of dollars in annual premiums" to "more than $100,000" depending on the property.

The private firefighters would often go to the addresses and clear away flammable items from the outside of the homes before the fires arrived. They would also set up sprinkler systems and occasionally fire retardant.

Cal Fire said they often coordinate with the crews, who aren’t usually doing the work when the fires approach.

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