PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — Homeowners are begging for help, saying they can no longer afford or keep their insurance policies.

Counties across our region have been reaching out to the state insurance commissioner, Ricardo Lara, calling on him to take action. One of those counties is Placer County. New numbers are demonstrating what they call a “crisis of insurance affordability.”

Placer County surveyed more than 2,000 homeowners, and the majority reported that their insurance policies have been non-renewed, canceled, or they’ve seen a huge price hike.

Half of the respondents, more than 1,000 people, report their homeowner’s insurance was canceled or not renewed.

Another 15%, or one out of seven, say their premiums substantially increased, many say they’re now paying more than double.

Eighty-six percent of those whose policies were canceled said the insurer never even came out to consider mitigation steps they might have taken to help protect from fire.

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The Placer County cities hardest hit by cancelations are in more rural areas, but there were some non-renewals in cities like Granite Bay, Loomis, and even one in Roseville.

Now the insurance commissioner is pushing for legislation that would force insurers to consider the actual fire risk before canceling a policy, taking into account mitigation measures a homeowner takes to protect their home from fires.

He also wants homeowners to get at least six months notice before a non-renewal, so they have time to find a new insurer.

The commissioner recently surveyed the insurers themselves, to find out where and how often they are canceling policies. He found a 10% increase in cancelations this year in the areas affected by the fires from 2015 and 2017, but that number will likely increase once insurers send out non-renewals to areas impacted by last summer’s fires.

Julie Watts

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