California Stops Insurers From Dropping Some Homeowners Due To Wildfire Risk

Palm trees frame a home being destroyed by a wildfire above Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Calif., Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (File photo: Reed Saxon/AP)

As Californians have suffered through one devastating wildfire after another, they've found it increasingly hard to get and keep insurance on their properties.

Today, Ricardo Lara, California's insurance commissioner, issued a one-year moratorium that prevents insurance companies from dropping policyholders due to increased wildfire-related risks.

"I'm hearing the same story again and again. People have been dropped from their insurance companies after decades of premium payment and loyalty. Even when there has never been a claim filed," Lara said during a press conference earlier today. "This needs to stop."

Non-renewals due to wildfire-related risks rose by 10 percent last year in California and are expected to rise even further as the 2019 fires are taken into account, according to Lara.

The decision protects more than 800,000 homes across the state through Dec. 5, 2020.

"If you live near one of the devastating fires, you now have one year of protection," he said.

The moratorium gives breathing room to consumers as lawmakers grapple with how to address worsening wildfire risk due to climate change.

California's Department of Insurance released a list of zip codes included in the moratorium. Insurers are prohibited from issuing non-renewal notices in the areas listed below. If you received one this year, your insurance company must withdraw notice.

Eagle Fire

95423, 95422, 95451, 95493, 95458, 95987, 95464, 95485, 95979, 95443

Getty Fire

90049, 90025, 90024, 90272, 90403, 91403, 91436, 90402, 90077, 90095, 90073

Hill Fire

92509, 92504, 92324, 92505, 91752, 92337, 92316, 92501

Kincaid Fire

95404, 95403, 95492, 95448, 95425, 94515, 95461, 95441, 94928, 95409, 95401, 95407, 95405, 95451, 94574, 95446, 95436, 95467, 94951, 95442, 95445, 95457, 94508, 95421, 95452, 95449, 94567, 95439, 94576

Maria Fire

93060, 93066, 93003, 93010, 93012, 93021, 93001, 93036, 93004, 93023, 93015, 93022

Saddle Ridge Fire

91342, 91344, 91326, 91311, 91321, 91381, 93063, 91331, 91350, 91355, 91387, 91304, 91354, 91343, 91306, 91351, 91352, 91325, 91042, 91324, 91040, 91384, 91340, 91390, 91345, 93015, 93510, 93040, 91330

Tick Fire

91387, 91351, 91390, 91342, 93551, 91350, 91354, 91321, 91384, 93510, 93532

This is not a final list. According to the Insurance Department, they along with Cal Fire are working to identify additional zip codes that could be included in the future.

Lara has also asked insurers to voluntarily extend the moratorium to homes not included in the list.

If you've been dropped by your insurance provider due to risks related to climate change, please let me know by using the contact form below.