More Companies Exit California’s Homeowners Market — Some State Senators have had Enough

The California homeowners insurance crisis continues to deepen. A couple of more insurance companies — AmGuard and Falls Lake Insurance — have joined State Farm, Farmers and Allstate and are leaving California’s homeowners market.

Those exits — and what seems like a non-response from California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and his department — have worried California Senate Minority leader and Republican, Sen. Brian Jones and other Republican senators. They have sent a letter to the commissioner about the homeowners crisis.

AmGuard is a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary and in 2022 had 50,000 homeowners policies. Falls Lake Insurance is a lot smaller and only has 900 clients.

The letter from Jones and his Republican colleagues is asking Lara to do something — and now.

“California needs a healthy and stable homeowners’ insurance market that is accessible to all,” said Jones said in a news release on the subject. “Our current market is on the brink of collapse and Californians are struggling to find and purchase affordable homeowners’ insurance.”

He — and other minority party senators — say things need to “happen” to make the homeowners market in California more healthy. Rate adjustment permission is where they’d start. In the letter, they told Lara a faster rate review process is needed and insurance discounts need to be in place for homeowners who’ve hardened their property against fire damage.

“You can begin this process yourself, now,” the letter said. “This is a critical time for decisive leadership from California’s elected insurance commissioner and the department you head.”

One of the Republicans signing the letter is Sen. Brian Dahle. He worries about his constituents who live in areas with higher fire risk. “Californians can’t afford for a catastrophic wildfire to collapse the market and leave those insured without the coverage they may need to rebuild,” he said.

Jones agrees and says Lara needs to get moving because insurers — because of California’s Proposition 103 — cannot raise rates without his department’s approval. Delays in granting rate increases keep insurers from keeping up with inflation and the high cost of climate-related risks.

“While the legislature has failed to act, Insurance Commissioner Lara has the power to begin solving these problems under his current authority and we stand ready to work with him to fix this broken market,” Jones concluded.

Source link: Insurance Business America —

Source link: Insurance Business America —

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