As wildfires drive insurance premiums up, will homeowners be able to keep up?

At first, Lucy Reynolds was unnerved by the non-renewal notice from the insurance company two years ago.

Mortgaged homes must have coverage so Reynolds and her husband needed to find a replacement, quick. She was turned down by her neighbor’s carrier and an insurance agent spent a week looking for ways to cover their ranch-style home in the foothills of El Dorado County.
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8 Responses to As wildfires drive insurance premiums up, will homeowners be able to keep up?

  1. HoosierHilly says:

    “The days of your annual premium being under $1,000 are coming to an end here in California. The question is how much more are they (premiums) going to jump.”

    I don’t see how their homeowner’s policies are under $1000 out there. I live in the midwest in a house worth a small fraction of their average, decent credit score, multiple policy discounts, and I barely come in under $1000 a year. What gives?

    • Elmo says:

      The homeowners insurance on my Sierra foothills home was $2400 a year and had been around that same amount for over 20 years. It was cancelled as of December 5. I’m guessing if we can find a new insurer the cost will be at least 4 grand, but I’m not counting on being able to find one.

  2. B says:

    Need to do the same thing in Hurricane and flood areas….get rid of federally subsidized insurance so the price of insurance actually reflects the risk. Fewer people would build there as they couldn’t get a mortgage.

    • HoosierHilly says:

      I bought property in a “flood zone” this year, bank made me get flood insurance on the ratty house sitting on it. Since my county is a member in the program they forced me to use the FEMA insurance, private flood insurance was quoted at 1/4 the price of the subsidized.

  3. Marach says:

    Ran into that problem when I moved to Nevada. The house was half a mile too far from the closest fire station for most of the major insurance companies.

    • Wirecutter says:

      We live 5 miles from the nearest town and fire hydrant. Our insurance cost us a little more, but we didn’t have any problems at all finding somebody to insure us.

  4. Elmo says:

    “I just don’t know what the end of the story is here.”

    I do. Within 20 years the State of California will be in control of the ‘fund’ that will be the only option for homeowners insurance in fire prone areas. If you don’t like it or can’t pay the freight, leave.

    That works out well for the utopian politicians, who want people to live closer to the urban core and public transit, and the Sierra Clubbers in San Francisco who would prefer to see the Sierra Nevada and it’s foothills ‘rewilded’.

  5. STW says:

    They’re just now noticing? We had trouble getting insurance after the Ceder Fire in 2003 down in San Diego County. One of the problems was scrub brush on undeveloped land within a quarter mile of our home.
    Of course, it’s not just fire. Now in Montana (you’d hate it, don’t come) we’ve had severe hail in something like 3 of the past 5 years. I know people that have replaced their roofs 3 times. It only hit us once but our insurance is up like everyone else in town. An agent 100 miles away tells me rates here are 3x what they are in his town.

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