Written by Jonathan Du Fault
California’s moratorium on insurance companies dropping homeowners insurance is quickly coming to an end. The mortarium was put in place last year to give homeowners peace of mind as Governor Newsom declared states of emergencies for fires and other extreme weather.
When this mortarium ends in November, more than 2.1 million residents could lose insurance on their homes.
In San Diego County, this has been a major issue. Residents living in “high risk” areas are facing the consequences of having their home insurance dropped just because they live in a certain area.
“This wildfire insurance crisis has been years in the making, but it is an emergency we must deal with now if we are going to keep the California dream of home ownership from becoming the California nightmare, as an increasing number of homeowners struggle to find coverage,” said Commissioner Lara, California’s insurance commissioner.
The troubles do not stop there for Californians either. Residents will be stuck in these areas as they will not be able to sell their homes.
This will not go over well in a state that has a “fire season” that is starting earlier and ending later every year. There have already been four major fires in the state in June alone. One of those fires, in Monterey, has been burning since June 17th and is zero percent contained.
As the housing crisis continues to grow in California, the state is seeing more people than ever who will not receive coverage on their houses. Fires are beginning to burn in areas that were originally thought to be fire “immune.” Developers are also trying to use these areas to build new houses and communities. Lawmakers have unsuccessfully tried to stop these developments, knowing the risk of building in these fire zones. So far Attorney General Xavier Becerra has successfully stopped two developments in Lake and San Diego counties.
Developers are taking measures to protect homes as much as they can. This includes fireproof roofs, tempered windows, and sprinkler systems. Governor Newsom has also proposed using millions of dollars to help fireproof houses. However, Newsom wants to use more money to create more fire breaks, a strategy that has already been proven ineffective.
The California legislature must decide what to do to protect its residents and their houses by November. If they put nothing in place over two million Californians will be left out with no protection on their house.