Insurance Rates Not Likely to Rise in Utah City After Wildfire

September 26, 2017

Insurance rates aren’t expected to go up in an Ogden, Utah, neighborhood where a wildfire destroyed three homes and caused the evacuations of hundreds.

But authorities are warning the residents to be on high alert for landslides because the land is now unstable, the Standard-Examiner reported.

The fire sparked Sept. 5 by a downed power line destroyed three homes and four other structures and damaged two other homes and nine other buildings before it was brought under full control five days later.

Part of the zone it affected is a residential area in the unincorporated Uintah Highlands area above Uintah.

“As to the wider community, there probably won’t be any increases. It wasn’t like a hurricane,” with massive, widespread destruction, said Steve Gooch, spokesman for the Utah Insurance Department, an insurance regulatory body.

But Gooch said those living in the area affected by the fire need to be mindful of an increased possibility of landslides in the months ahead.

The destruction of vegetation can potentially make the land underneath more unstable, particularly with snowfall, snowmelt, rain and other moisture.

Homeowner insurance typically extends to most areas, even those not so close to fire hydrants or as accessible as more urbanized subdivisions. That’s good news for those who had homes and other property damaged or destroyed in the blaze.

But broadly speaking, there can be added costs or conditions in insuring homes in such zones stemming from the particular risks when fires strike, according to area agents.

“Anytime you live outside the city limits, further from responding (fire) stations, you’re going to see higher rates to start with,” said Lisa Marie, an agent with Ogden-based Platinum Insurance Group, speaking in general terms.

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