Wildfire Defense Systems (WDS) FAQs
Recently, our Safeco homeowners received a letter from Safeco describing the new partnership between the company and a third party, WDS, in an effort to mitigate future damages caused by potential wildfires.
We have received many questions regarding this program which are worth sharing. In order to find out answers, we reached out to the Bainbridge Fire Department to get their opinion, specific to our community.
1) How do I sign up?
As of September 27, 2021 you are automatically signed up for the program.
2) Is there a deadline for opting out?
No, if you decide to opt-out, you can do so any time by following the instructions provided with the letter.
3) If I opt-out, will this change any coverages on my policy?
No, absolutely not.
4) If I opt-out, will the response to my home in the case of a wildfire be less than if I stay signed up for the program? Or, alternatively, if I am signed up for the program, will my house get priority in the case of a wildfire?
No, according to our Fire Department, this program provides services that do not influence or obligate our department “to complete these tasks any differently than (they) do now”.
5) Who is the third-party that Safeco partnered with?
Wildfire Defense Systems: www.wildfire-defense.com.
6) Is the gel used environmentally toxic?
According to our Fire Department, they do not have comment beyond the fact that it is approved for use by the Forest Service, according to WDS.
7) Will Safeco start charging for this program? If so, will it be required for my policy to continue?
If Safeco ever does charge premium for this program, it would be an optional coverage that you could opt for or opt-out as any other optional coverage.
This said, for now it is a benefit offered for free by Safeco through the WDS.
8) Should I opt-out?
This is a very personal decision. That said, based on the feedback received from the Bainbridge Fire Department, “It seems like a great benefit to the homeowner with no additional cost”, this program can be seen as a positive should we have a wildfire here as it would potentially add extra reinforcement to fight the fires.