California’s Homeowners Insurance Crisis

Members of the California Legislature are lobbying California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to do something to help residents find affordable homeowners and renters insurance. The letter to Lara was penned by 18 state senators on February 6th.

“As you know all too well, the homeowners’ insurance market in California is experiencing severe disruption due to increased climate-related risks, particularly wildfires,” the letter said. “Homeowners association (HOA) communities and residents of condominium developments in wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas of the state are facing particular difficulty accessing coverage because of the high concentration of risk.”

Like homeowners, some condominium owners are struggling to find coverage and others can’t afford the drastic jump in rates and also can’t accept the lower coverage limits.

“Constituents have reported special assessments of thousands of dollars per year, and in some cases, premiums of nearly $1,000 per unit, per month just to maintain the master policy of their housing development,” the group said. “This is an untenable situation, potentially affecting millions of California homeowners.”

The 18 senators are calling on Lara and the California Department of Insurance to increase the commercial limits of the state’s FAIR Plan from $8.4 million to $20 million.

Lara’s response was on Social media.

“Expanded coverage options for HOAs and community associations, including a stronger FAIR Plan, is a top priority for my new term,” he wrote. “We have to hold insurance companies accountable to covering Californians. We want them to be part of the solution, not the problem, and work with us to protect homeowners and businesses.”

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