If you have a CalVet Home Loan and were evacuated or experienced property loss, please contact York Field Services 24-hour hotline at (800) 626-1613 to begin the claim process. The CalVet homeowner insurance also provides for temporary living expenses for evacuations; please call today.
This week, more than a dozen wildfires swept through Napa County, burning 153,000 acres, destroying at least 1,500 homes & businesses, forcing more than 30,000 people to evacuate, and more than 40 people lost their lives.
Throughout these difficult times, CalVet has taken a proactive approach to help veterans who have a CalVet home loan to understand their insurance coverage and benefits, especially in times of need, such as during evacuations.
Most of our CalVet Home Loan properties are required to be insured under our Fire & Hazard and Disaster Indemnity coverage. This is a true benefit to our veterans because the coverage provides guaranteed replacement cost for the property at a low deductible.
Using digital mapping technology, we’re able to determine which homes are threatened by wildfires and reach out to those veterans to provide them with insurance information that will assist them if they have to evacuate and/or their property sustained any damage.
“CALFIRE and local fire agencies notify residents of evacuations, but we’re able to offer a courtesy call to ensure our customers know their insurance benefits and information on temporary living arrangements,” says Reginal Prasad, a program specialist in our Home Loans Division.
Using technology developed by Spatial Key, a company that creates geospatial mapping software, we’re able to map all of our home loans and pending loans throughout the state and compare their distance to nearby fires. Spatial Key provides the data sets for each fire and Prasad inputs home loan addresses to gain a complete picture.
If a home is dangerously close to an incoming fire, or in a rural area near a fire, Prasad is quick to record the location. We can then contact the homeowner and answer insurance questions.
“I update the maps on a daily basis, but fire perimeters are always changing, so we have to keep updating them,” Prasad explains. “For fast-moving fires, this technology is pretty quick to update, which makes it a very useful tool.”
In just the past two months, CalVet has contacted more than 100 homeowners and notified them of their insurance benefits, should the need arise to utilize them.
“We’ve been proactively checking potential residences in rural areas,” Prasad says. “Every once in a while, locations near a fire will be evacuated. So we stay in contact with the homeowner and provide contact information and answer any questions they may have about their insurance. That way, they’re not worried and they’re not searching for us after a fire – we’re here for them just in case.”
For fast-moving fires, Prasad and the CalVet Home Loans team can set the radius of potentially impacted homes to two, five or even ten miles with a few clicks.
This feature is just one benefit to a CalVet home loan, which usually features below market rates and requires little or no down payment. They are a benefit to our qualified veterans and their families as a thank you for the sacrifices made for our state and nation.
Loans are funded by California state voter-approved bonds that are repaid as homeowners pay their mortgages, so CalVet is able to provide this benefit at no cost to California tax payers.
If you are new to the home buying process, visit CalVet to learn more about your veteran benefits.