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California bans insurance companies from dropping people who live in wildfire-prone counties

This law prevents an insurer from canceling or refusing to renew an insurance policy on a home in a wildfire-prone area for a year.


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.

RELATED: Your Stories: Home insurance companies dropping customers

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. 

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