Keep California Insurance Accessible

In the aftermath of the 2017 wildfires, lawmakers are considering changes to the insurance system that could limit availability of homeowners insurance and choice in riskier areas by mandating how insurance companies underwrite, price, and offer policies. Some bills under consideration could ultimately hurt—not help—California homeowners.

Legislators should resist trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist by legislating solutions that will put the financial stability of California’s insurance system at risk and limit availability of homeowners insurance. 

California’s insurance market works, keeping insurance accessible for all Californians. The facts speak for themselves:

  • Of the 714,000 policies in selected counties with the highest percentage of high-risk fire areas, just over 1 percent of these policies were non-renewed by the insurer, while another 5 percent were actually non-renewed by the policyholder. The remaining 94 percent were renewed.
  • The current insurance market is healthy. The California FAIR plan, which provides a safety net that assures home insurance is available for all homeowners, has seen no demonstrable uptick in the number of subscribers to their plan.
  • The California Department of Insurance recently examined complaint data related to renewals and found only 143 complaints in 2016. With an estimated 4.6 million residential policies in high-risk wildfire areas, this minuscule number of complaints demonstrates that California’s insurance market is working.

Homeowners do best when they have access to competitive options for insurance. Legislators should help California homeowners maintain the access to the insurance they have today by avoiding the rush to pass bills that will ultimately harm them.