Parametric Wildfire Insurance for California

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The frequency & severity of wildfires in the US have led to:

Limited capacity due to a retreating traditional market

Severe spikes in retentions & deductibles imposed by commercial carriers

Many Californian businesses are left with severe capacity constraints & limited options for cover

wildfire in California region

Key benefits


Fresh capacity:

Innovative solution to address the wildfire insurance coverage gap left by traditional carriers.


Customized protection:

Assets located in wildfire-prone areas benefit from bespoke coverage designed to fit their budgetary restrictions, as well as exposure, risk appetite, and needs.



Based on objective data & transparent terms, clients have certainty of what is covered and what they can expect to receive in case of a triggering event.


Timely claims payment:

High-resolution satellite monitoring & precise location data enables real-time claims assessment.

Due to the increasing wildfire insurance coverage gap left by traditional carriers, clients with valuable assets are at extremely high risk.

Climate change is projected to make wildfires more intense and frequent, with a global increase in extreme fires of up to 14% by 2030. The United States experiences many wildfires, where 2022 saw 66,255 wildfires across the region, the highest number in 10 years. A particularly wildfire-prone region in the United States is California. 

California contains the highest number of properties at risk to wildfire due to its extensive size and Mediterranean climate. In 2022 there were five severe wildfire events in California, 3 of which surpassed over $151 million USD in economic loss.

Vulnerabilities in California for high value properties

California, with its picturesque landscapes and thriving vineyards, is a magnet for luxury property owners and hospitality businesses alike. However, amidst the allure of wine country and scenic mountain retreats lies a stark reality: the constant threat of wildfires. For hospitality clients, such as resort owners in Napa Valley and beyond, this poses a significant risk to their valuable assets and revenue streams.

Moreover, the wildfire risk extends beyond wine country to encompass luxury properties nestled in the expansive mountains of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. These properties, often sprawling over vast acres of pristine land, are especially susceptible to wildfires. The combination of high elevation and remote locations amplifies the challenges of wildfire prevention and containment, leaving these properties exposed to substantial damage and loss.

As California’s wildfire risk continues to evolve, traditional insurance carriers have responded by reducing wildfire sub-limits and increasing retentions, leaving clients financially insecure due to limited and expensive coverage.    

In such a landscape of heightened risk and limited coverage, it becomes imperative for property owners in California’s high-value regions to seek robust and tailored insurance solutions to safeguard their investments and livelihoods against the unpredictable forces of nature.

Parametric wildfire insurance: a secure alternative

Descartes’ parametric wildfire insurance cover, offers fresh capacity to exposed clients needing full financial protection and capacity in the United States and globally. Descartes’ bespoke and customizable parametric covers provide security and consistency in an unstable traditional market.

case study example

Case study example

California is prone to wildfires, leaving valuable properties exposed to significant damage and financial losses, which is what one client experienced when a rapid wildfire took their resort in 2020.


Following their loss event, the client faced a residual market for wildfire coverage. The traditional market in the last few years has significantly reduced wildfire sub-limits and increased retentions due to evolving wildfire risk.


Our team creates a circle of diameter specified by the client around their exposed resort. In the event of a wildfire within this circle, the binary nature of the coverage ensures a 100% payout of the limit.


If a wildfire had burned within the customized circle, the client would have qualified for a payout of the full limit, providing them with prompt liquidity to address their full economic loss. This payout extends to include non-damage business interruption (NDB), typically excluded from traditional PDBI policies, bolstering their financial resilience even further.

satellite view of wildfire in a circle

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