MAX Update: Wildfire Underwriting Guidelines - AZ, MT, UT

July 30, 2020

Dear MAX Agents: As we continue to grow in our western states of Arizona, Montana and Utah, we have begun seeing applications for homes in outlying communities that reflect the enhanced potential for large fire losses due to wildfire. These amplified issues are the result of the dry summer climate, hilly to mountainous terrain and fuel loads present, coupled with a desire for clients to live in these areas due to their natural beauty and solitude. MAX utilizes a mapping tool that provides numerous pieces of information about a given location and its proximity to concerns that may impact that location.  One of those items looks at individual wildfire hazards based on a number of factors to include terrain, climate, type of fuels present, etc.  This tool produces a level of risk based on six possible levels: Very Low, Low, Moderate, High, Very High, and Extreme potential for wildfire. MAX will utilize the above categories to help determine the eligibility of the risk in conjunction with all other factors.  This will ultimately be incorporated into our system upon entering of a dwelling address but will be handled manually for the interim period. MAX will accept all Very Low and Low returns. We will review all Moderate returns, which will be subject to Defensible Space requirements in addition to the Underwriter’s view of the home itself, the terrain around the home, type of fuels present, and seasonal moisture levels for that area.  For the remaining High + categories, MAX will not accept those risks.  Of course, if you have added information on fire mitigation at the location or feel the risk warrants an exception, we will gladly review those situations on an exception basis. Please contact your Underwriter directly if you have a risk you would like to review for an exception or if you have any questions about these new guidelines. Thanks for selling MAX!


Chris Vardiman

Underwriting Manager

MAX (MutualAid eXchange)

4400 College Boulevard, Suite 250

Overland Park, KS 66211

844-629-2468, ext. 126

913-754-3826 direct


MutualAid eXchange ("MAX")
4400 College Blvd, Ste 250

Overland Park, KS 66211


Agent Line: 844-629-2468                            

Member Line:  877-971-6300                     

FAX:  913-338-0085

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