While it may not be comfortable to talk about right now, our state is literally on fire. This year, California is facing yet another record breaking wildfire year, and even for those who have fire insurance, the fear of losing it is very real. Luckily, our state’s insurance commissioner recently pledged to ensure that resident’s will be able to keep their fire insurance.
The current state of wildfires
According to CalFire, in 2020 alone, there have been nearly 9,000 wildfires that have burned over 4 million acres in our state. We have endured 31 fatalities as a result, and lost over 9,000 structures.
And, this year is not an outlier. Over the past decade, catastrophic wildfires have spiked fire insurance rates, and made it increasingly difficult to find insurance companies willing to issue fire insurance policies.
The pledge by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara
During a “virtual investigatory hearing” Monday, the commissioner pledged to initiate regulatory actions to protect Californians from the steadily increasing risk of wildfires. Particularly those living in high wildfire risks areas have been hit especially hard as they are dealing with the wildfires themselves, property loss, fighting the insurance company and then trying to figure out how to keep coverage after they rebuild. This is what prompted the commissioner’s pledge.
Specifically, he plans to use his authority to push four area. First, he will require insurers to justify their rates. Second, he will create statewide fire risk scores. Third, he will push statewide incentives for fire risk mitigation. And, fourth, he will create new statewide standards for fireproofing homes.
While this news comes at an opportune time for San Diego and California residents, it does not offer any immediate relief. Insurance companies are paying out millions, but sometimes, only after litigation. This is why, for those currently battling their insurance companies, they need to contact an attorney immediately.