MALIBU, Calif. – You might think a Malibu luxury real estate broker only makes time for sales, but every week Paul Grisanti makes time to write.

"Ever since the fire, I've done a column on the recovery since the fire," said Grisanti.

His weekly column titled "Build Malibu Better” is published weekly in The Malibu Times as a response to his frustration from how the Woolsey fire was handled.


"I found that people from the county and the fire department were not giving people accurate information. I became angry enough that I wanted to do something about it," said Grisanti.

He has lived in Malibu for 40 years and lost two homes to fires in 1993 and 2007. Grisanti was lucky during Woolsey, but where he became unlucky like many other residents was the issue of fire insurance.

His primary home located in the burn area didn't see a rate change, but his rental property outside the burn area did, quadrupling from $4,100 to $16,000. He eventually found a better rate months later.

"So we paid the $6,000, we got a refund, a partial refund from the other people, and now we're only paying 50-percent more than we were paying before," said Grisanti.

In January the California Insurance Commissioner came to Malibu for a town hall to help and hear from residents suffering from insurance issues.

"Give you the legislative solutions that we are seeking in the legislature that we feel are important as we continue to address the issues of non-renewal, the issues of affordability," Ricardo Lara.

Some residents had appointments to talk about their claims, but Grisanti went because he is helping his clients through the rebuilding process.

"You're part of the community, you've got to help the community," said Grisanti.

But as he drives me around the burn area where Woolsey's wounds are still visible Grisanti says, "This house is gone, this house is gone."

He tells me his best piece of advice to save those battling insurance companies is to make a video of their home to prove what's inside, and any upgrades that were made. It is something he did coincidentally right before he lost his home in 2007.

"Insurance companies think they're superman, but you have to have the kryptonite. Make a video and store it somewhere not at the fire," said Grisanti.

Because as the state and insurance companies continue to battle over the claims, Grisanti wants his community to be as prepared as possible. It's only a matter of time when the next wildfire hits the area as this is California's new normal.