SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. —
There’s some good news for nearly a million California homeowners living in areas considered at risk for wild fires. They don't have to worry about losing insurance coverage for at least a year.
"In the seven counties from San Diego to Sierra, the number of non-renewals rose more than 10% last year,” said Ricardo Lara, State Insurance Comissioner and Southern California native on Thursday,
Lara is to thank for a new state law. He authored Senate Bill 824 last year. It calls for a one-year moratorium on insurance companies non-renewing policies for 800,000 homes in wildfire disaster areas.
Lara is also asking companies to voluntarily cease non-renewals statewide.
It’s too late for Hill Paige, a Scripps Ranch homeowner who was cancelled two months after buying a home.
"Whoa! Why did I get cancelled? What did I do wrong?" said Hill.
Hill is also a former firefighter. It’s a situation Hill didn’t expect.
"I called them up and they said, 'Sorry, you're in a fire prone area,’” said Hill.
Purchasing fire insurance is even impacting the real estate market.
"It's creating a lot of unnecessary challenges and that's stressful,” said Jenn Blake, a realtor with Pacific Sotheby’s.
She just closed on a home on Grainwood Way, and there were complications.
"The new buyers reached out to four or five insurance companies and were denied,” said Blake.
Back in 2003, a fire destroyed 25 homes on the street.