Wildfires Bring Another Climate Crisis: Homeowners Can’t Get Insurance

“Insurers, facing huge losses, have been pulling back from fire-prone areas across California. “The marketplace has largely collapsed,” an advocate for counties in the state said.”

“As wildfires burn homes across California, the state is also grappling with a different kind of climate predicament: How to stop insurers from abandoning fire-prone areas, leaving countless homeowners at risk.

Years of megafires have caused huge losses for insurance companies, a problem so severe that, last year, California temporarily banned insurers from canceling policies on some 800,000 homes in or near risky parts of the state. However, that ban is about expire and can’t be renewed, and a recent plan to deal with the problem fell apart in a clash between insurers and consumer advocates.

Insurers are widely expected to continue their retreat, potentially devastating the housing market if homes become essentially uninsurable.”

Christopher Flavelle reports for the New York Times September 2, 2020.