Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 08:30

It may have been around 2017 when a true sense of urgency donned on insurers, public officials, residents and regulators in wildfire-prone California, as fires destroyed or damaged more than 10,000 structures in the state, a higher tally than the previous nine years combined.

In terms of property damage, 2017 was the most destructive wildfire season on record in California at the time, with 9,133 fires burning more than 1.2 million acres, and it was after 2017 that the word “mitigation” seemed to appear more prominently and more often in public messaging about wildfires – along with news of warnings about rising homeowners insurance rates, increasing non-renewals, and of course climate change.

With California and the drought-plagued U.S. West staring down the barrel of what could be another historically bad wildfire season, Roy Wright continues to preach the mitigation message – an idea that he believes is neither too late, nor one that the insurance industry has only recently begun to embrace.

Wright, president and CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, who came the group a few years ago from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has been talking about mitigation for years.

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