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Homeowners Insurance in the age of wildfires

The wildfires in 2017 were costly for homeowners and insurance companies alike. Moody's reported insurance losses at over 12.3 billion dollars. Unfortunately, the fires the following year were worse in terms of personal loss and insurance loss. More than 100 people lost their lives in the 15 fires in California in 2018 including the Camp and Woolsey fires. The insurance industry lost 24 billion dollars in those California fires and this year the human loss and suffering and financial loss will be even greater!

Many of the insurance companies responded last year by pulling out of mountain areas or areas close to brush. Some insurance companies have "wholesale" non-renewed policies in certain areas. But most areas in our town are safe from this cycle of cancelled policies.

Farmers, for example, is writing policies in some areas that others have non-renewed, but like all companies they also are non-renewing in higher elevations. BUT there is a solution. In our office we do have other carriers that are writing in higher elevations, and we also have a very viable alternative.

The California Fair Plan offers a policy which covers fire, smoke, extended coverage and vandalism or malicious mischief. To make this a complete homeowners policy Farmers offers a "wrap around" or DIC (Difference In Conditions), as it's sometimes called, to make the coverage a complete homeowners package.

Even though the Fair Plan is much more expensive, with discounts for other coverages such as auto or business and life insurance, we've been able to bring the cost down substantially.

There are options but the important thing to remember is you can get insurance and we, locally at Farmers, will make sure that coverage is available in time of need.

Marty Pay has been the local Farmers Insurance office since 1990, his office is at 212 West F Street in Tehachapi. Please call for a quote or questions on your insurance needs at (661) 822-3737