Fire Insurance for your timber?

Dave Johnson, from Coloma, made some interesting observations in a recent email - Firefighters don’t value timber. “I can’t tell the people fighting the fire that, because my buildings are insured, I’d rather lose them than the uninsured trees. I can rebuild a "structure" if I lose one. I won’t live long enough to see a forest regenerate.”

As a firefighter – we do have a priority of protecting; lives and structures.  We see the forest as the burning problem, not valuable property.  We wouldn’t think twice about cutting trees or bulldozing firebreaks – do whatever is needed to stop the fire.  They aren't our trees, anyway.

I asked my insurance agent if a forest owner could buy insurance on their timber.  He said I could search the internet to see if any company did that, but he had no personal knowledge of the practice.

Here at Timbergreen, our timber is now worth millions of dollars.

We do spend a lot of time, money, and effort at Fire Prevention.  Wind Storms are another major concern that can produce similar losses.  We assess the many risks and work to minimize the potential losses.  When you buy insurance – you pay for the actions of the average dummy – I hope to be smarter.  I have bought just enough property insurance for the business to be able to survive a major loss.

     1.  Diversity is the best insurance of all.  30 years ago I saw that the industry demand for Red Oak, and the resulting “oak only” forest management recommended by the professionals, was obviously foolish and risky from the forest owner’s point of view.  Marshall Pecore of the Menominee Nation taught me the first time I met him:  “Grow the most quantity of the best quality timber possible, while always increasing the natural diversity.”  We developed good markets for every native species so every tree has high value here.  Our forest and our product diversity are out best assurance.

  1. Encourage the forest to be Healthy and Vigorous, to resist the variety of threats.
  2. Structures must be defensible and fire resistant – with alarms and extinguishers.
  3. Wood (inventory) should be stored in many locations.
  4. Have good access for quick response – have communications available.
  5. Plan ahead; know what you will do for each major threat.
  6. Have an escape route that all family members/employees/guests know.
  7. Talk with your neighbors before something happens – we are a community.

Be Prepared!