Homeowner's Insurance Questions

Property Insurance Questions and Answers 

Many Californians located in wildfire-prone areas are experiencing dramatic increases in homeowners' insurance premiums or losing their insurance altogether. 

The Northstar community is no different. With the continuation of disastrous wildfires within our state, insurance issues will likely persist for the foreseeable future.

If you find yourself faced with the unfortunate and dreadful task of trying to retain or find new homeowners' insurance, the Northstar Fire Department would like to offer our assistance.

Insurance companies are required to provide a 45-day notice for non-renewals. Please contact Joe Barron, the Northstar Fire Department’s Forester at (530) 562-1212 ext. 2, as soon as you receive a non-renewal or cancellation notice. The Forester will inspect the property for compliance with the Northstar Community Services District and State of California requirements. Once compliance is obtained, the Forester will provide a customized insurance package (see below for sample packet)  to your insurance provider, pleading your case. All of this is offered to property owners in Northstar at no expense. Some of the documentation includes:

  • Specific facilities and infrastructure serving Northstar that help to make our district emergency prepared and safe.
  • Specific maps and diagrams depicting the forest thinning and vegetation management performed near and around your property that will help to reduce the possible ignition or spread of wildfire. 
  • Specific documentation and photos depicting the defensible space work performed on your property.
  • Home-hardening aspects of your structure that will help it to withstand a wildfire.
  • Letters from the Fire Chief, Community Risk Reduction Chief, and Forester. 

Here is an example of an insurance packet that Northstar Fire Department can help to create on behalf of the owner specifically in defense of their property (click here).

Here is a general insurance packet that any property owner can use for their purposes (click here).

Specific Facts & Evidence:

ISO RATING: Northstar Fire Department has an ISO Rating of 2.

Click to Learn More about Northstar's ISO Rating


           Station 31 (910 Northstar Drive, Truckee, CA 96161)

  • Two (2)-Type 1 Pumpers. Each with 500-gallon tank capacity, and the ability to pump 1,500 gallons per minute.
  • One (1)-Type 3 Pumper, with 650-gallon tank capacity, and the ability to pump 500 gallons per minute.
  • One (1)-100’ Ladder Truck, with a 350-gallon tank capacity, and the ability to pump 1,500 gallons per minute.

            Station 32 (9100 Highlands View Road, Truckee, CA 96161)

  • One (1)-Type 1 Pumper, with a 500-gallon tank capacity, and the ability to pump 1500 gallons per minute.
  • One (1)-Type 3 Pumper, with 500-gallon capacity, and the ability to pump 750 gallons per minute.
  • One (1)-Light-Rescue Truck
  • Two (2)-Snowmobiles

STAFFING: Both stations staffed 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.

HYDRANTS: The District has hydrants placed every 300ft. Our water infrastructure rivals most large cities.

DISTRICT RESPONSE TIMES: The District has fire stations strategically placed throughout the District to allow for 10 min on-pavement response times.  However, it might be to your benefit to enter your property address into a mapping application and find the drive time and distance to the nearest staffed responding station (listed above).

PAID FIRE DISTRICT: All of Northstar Fire Department's personnel are paid. All firefighters are certified and equipped to mitigate both wildland and structure fires.

FUELS MANAGEMENT: The Fire Department is aggressive and extensive in its efforts in forest fuels and vegetation management within the open space common areas/forested lands and private properties of Northstar. The department employs a full-time registered professional forester. 

DEFENSIBLE SPACE: The Fire Department is aggressive and extensive in its efforts in defensible space.  We inspect and enforce during the late-Spring to early-Fall to bring properties under compliance.

EVACUATION ROUTES: The District has 3 major evacuations routes all of which provide a fuel buffer of 300 feet from the centerline.

For additional information, please consider the following resources:

Homeowners' Insurance Help for Californians

Top 10 Tips for Finding Residential Homeowners' Insurance



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