Wildfire Insurance Survival Guide: Vital Strategies You Need to Know

The All Things Wildfire Podcast episode features Kurt Thoennessen, an insurance specialist and CEO of Risk Review Software. The host emphasizes the importance of working with the right person for specific wildfire insurance needs. Kurt discusses the current state of the insurance industry, particularly in relation to wildfires, highlighting the challenges and changes in underwriting guidelines.

They delve into the impact of recent wildfires and the anticipation for 2024. Kurt emphasizes that the wildfire threat remains, prompting insurance companies to adapt, change underwriting guidelines, and even leave certain states. The discussion shifts to the difficulties faced by high-net-worth clients in dealing with insurance challenges, and Kurt emphasizes the importance of empathy in helping clients navigate these complexities. 

The conversation underscores the need for specialized insurance brokers who understand the unique requirements of different clients. Kurt shares anecdotes about advising clients during challenging situations, such as difficulties in insuring specific properties. He emphasizes the importance of providing valuable advice and being a trusted resource for clients, even if it means directing them to other brokers for suitable solutions. The podcast concludes with insights into risk management and the significance of having an umbrella policy for added liability coverage.


  • 2024 Wildfire Outlook: Navigating Insurance Landscape
    • Kurt Thoennessen provides insights into the insurance industry’s response to 2023’s wildfires and discusses the evolving landscape, particularly in California.
  • Challenges in Insuring Against Wildfires: Industry Adaptation
    • Explore the complexities of insurance companies adapting to increasing wildfire risks, with a focus on altering underwriting guidelines and insurers leaving the state.
  • Empathy in High Net Worth Client Relationships: Personal Stories
    • Kurt shares personal anecdotes, highlighting the emotional toll on high net worth clients facing unexpected insurance requirements and the crucial role of empathy in guiding them through decisions.
  • Umbrella Policies and Wealth Preservation: A Comprehensive Approach
    • Discuss the value of umbrella policies for individuals across all wealth brackets, emphasizing the critical role of insurance in wealth preservation and risk management.
  • Advisor’s Role in Risk Management: Prioritizing Relationships
    • Explore the essential role of insurance advisors in understanding clients’ unique risks, with emphasis on relational transactions, client prioritization, and building long-term trusted relationships.

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