Placer surveys residents about fire insurance cancellation


Published on July 18, 2019

Responding to the growing number of residents reporting cancellations of their homeowners insurance policies due to wildfire risk, Placer County launched a countywide survey this week to better understand the scale of the problem.

“At the county level we don’t have any jurisdiction or control over insurance rates, but we can continue working with our residents facing these issues to better advocate for solutions at the state and federal levels,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “To do that, we need the best information we can get on how our residents are being affected.”

The anonymous survey asks questions about where residents live, how much more new policies are costing them and whether they’ve taken action to reduce wildfire risk by creating defensible space around their homes. Respondents may also choose to provide contact information to sign up for future communication about developments related to wildfire risk and insurance challenges. 

The survey is available online here and will remain open until there is a resolution to the fire insurance crisis. 

The county also encourages residents who believe their non-renewals or rate increases are unjustified to file a complaint with the California Department of Insurance. 

Last week, the county Board of Supervisors sent a letter to California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara expressing concern over increasing insurance cancellations and seeking support for working with the insurance industry to be more transparent in their risk assessments. The letter underscores the need for insurance companies to take into account homeowner, community and government wildfire prevention efforts when determining risk.

“Risk is increasing in California, we know that. And we recognize that insurance companies need to adjust rates to account for that risk,” said District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes. “But insurance companies also need to recognize that we are all doing good work to reduce our exposure to wildfire, and rates need to acknowledge those efforts, too.”