California Sees Rise in Insurers Refusing Home-Policy Renewals

Home insurers in California are increasingly refusing to renew certain policies after years of devastating wildfires.

Non-renewals climbed 31% throughout the state last year, with ZIP codes that had a “moderate to very high fire risk” seeing a 61% uptick, according to a presentation Monday by the California Department of Insurance. The regulator is hosting a hearing to discuss the state of the homeowners’ market.

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Years of wildfire damage have upended the home-insurance market in certain areas of the state, causing insurers to seek to raise prices or refuse to insure certain properties. That’s caused more residents to turn to the FAIR Plan, a backstop for fire risk, with those policies climbing 36% statewide last year and more than doubling in higher-risk areas, according to the presentation.

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