Insurance company crews provide 'high net worth individuals' increased fire protection

A privately-hired crew member sprays fire retardant on a property covered by PURE Insurance, which says it provides homeowners' insurance for "high net worth individuals." (Photo courtesy PURE Insurance/Capstone Fire & Safety Management.)

KATU talked with a representative from PURE Insurance, a company that provides extra protection from wildfires for the rich including clients in Oregon and Washington.

"We cater to the needs of high net worth individuals in the United States," said Kevin Daley, the company's west zone president.

He said crews hired by PURE Insurance spray down certain homes to help keep their customers safe. PURE and other companies provide deluxe homeowners' insurance that includes special coverage for all kinds of disasters including wildfires.

The last week was extremely busy for PURE.

"We were in Malibu all weekend and for the better part of this week, we've had several trucks up in the Malibu area," Daley said.

The company worked on other California wildfires last year in Santa Rosa and the Santa Barbara area.

Daley said in Oregon PURE's highest concentration of customers is in Bend. And in the Portland area they have many clients in Dunthorpe, the West Hills and Lake Oswego.

"We do a lot on the risk management side to ensure that our members are as protected as possible," he explained, saying the coverage for wildfires and other calamities all comes with PURE's homeowners' insurance.

"We have colleagues who are dedicated in something called the situation room where they monitor different activity around the country," he explained.

In the case of a wildfire, Daley said the company would notify customers immediately that one has broken out somewhere near their home.

"And we would start to talk to them about things that they could be doing while the fire is hopefully still quite a ways away," he said. "In some instances we will deploy fire prevention trucks that literally will go in to their communities and wherever possible potentially spray down homes with fire retardant systems.”

PURE hires third-party vendors like Capstone Fire and Safety Management to work in the field.

"Many of these individuals who work for these companies will have some firefighting experience. They’ll be former firefighters in some cases," Daley said.

The workers are not legally required to be certified as firefighters, which means they have to get out of the way once official fire departments move in.

"The last thing we want to do is put them in harm's way and we don't want to get in the way of the civil authority who's actually fighting the fire," Daley told a KATU reporter.

He said premiums can range in price from around $2,500 to $25,000 a year depending on the size of the home, its value, location and level of risk.

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