Wildfires May Make Insurance Harder to Get in California

As firefighters work on the containment of at least 11 wildfires that continue to burn throughout the state, the California Department of Insurance is already warning homeowners about the insurance headaches they will likely face, even for those whose homes weren’t affected in the latest fires.

The increasing number and severity of wildfires will likely make it more difficult for homeowners in the state to find and hold onto insurance, the California Department of Insurance warns.

California Insurance Commissioner David Jones told the Associated Press that more insurance companies may choose not to renew policies, or may stop writing homeowners policies in areas with the highest fire risk. He also says homeowners in the state should be prepared to face rate increases. Also, some portions of the state may be reclassified from safe to high-risk for wildfires that could jump costs for homeowners.

Source: “California fires may make homeowners insurance harder to get,” Associated Press (Aug. 13, 2018)

“Soaring Insurance Rates” Shock Home Owners!

Home owners who live near areas where disasters have struck, but have not been directly impacted are still seeing dramatic increases in their insurance premiums.

For example, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, unaffected residents living near the disaster zone still saw big spikes in flood insurance premiums. FEMA has reclassified the area as a high-risk flood zone. Some residents in the Valley Stream, Long Island area of New York find their flood insurance rates soar from $400 per year to $3,400.

Home owners living out West are also reporting rising insurance premiums due to recent threats of wildfires. The rise has some home owners to go without coverage.

For example, a 63-year-old Las Vegas man is refusing to evacuate his property near growing wildfires. He’s remaining in his cabin, spraying water to keep the fires from his home, which have come within about 300 feet of the property. The man says he cannot afford homeowner’s insurance because the last wildfire ended up doubling his payments. Your comments regarding rates in your region?

Source: “New Flood Insurance Rates Leave Homeowners With Sticker Shock,” AOL Real Estate (July 10, 2013) and “Man Refuses to Evacuate Home on Mount Charleston,” ABC 13 News (Las Vegas) (July 10, 2013)