California Prevents Insurance From Abandoning Clients After Wildfire

On Thursday, a day after evacuation orders were lifted for homeowners near a two-week-old inferno that has become the largest in the state so far this year, California temporarily prevented insurance companies from dumping customers in regions touched by recent wildfires.

The Mosquito fire, located in the Sierra foothills about 110 miles (177 km) north-east of San Francisco, has been 60% contained thanks to intermittent rain over the course of several days. Since the fires began on September 6th, at least 78 homes and other structures have been lost in the counties of Placer and El Dorado.

On Wednesday, sheriff’s officials in both counties announced they were lifting the final evacuation orders that had forced around 11,000 people to from their homes during the height of the fire.

The Mosquito fire, which has burned 310 square kilometers over 120 square miles, is projected to be fully contained by October 15.

Although this season has only witnessed a tenth of last year’s wildfire activity so far, last week the blaze eclipsed the size of the previous greatest conflagration in 2022 – the McKinney fire.

On Thursday, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara invoked a provision to safeguard homeowners who believe they are being priced out of the commercial insurance market as a result of the state’s ongoing wildfire crisis.

Lara has mandated that homeowners who are in the path of one of the many devastating wildfires that have swept through California in recent weeks have their insurance policies reinstated for a full year.

It is estimated by the California Department of Insurance that the prohibition will affect around 236,000 persons whose policies are written in parts of Placer, El Dorado, and Riverside counties.

Even if you don’t lose your home, a wildfire may still be incredibly traumatic, so it’s important to allow folks some space to recover. Lara stated in a statement, “Now is not the time to be looking for insurance.

The regulation went into effect in 2019, a year in which more than 15 big wildfires destroyed houses across the state.

According to scientists, the West has gotten warmer and drier due to climate change over the past three decades, and this trend will only worsen as the weather becomes more intense and wildfires become more common and catastrophic. Largest and deadliest wildfire in California’s history have occurred in the recent five years.

 

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