Lahaina Fire Kris Arruda asked 4 months ago
Lahaina Fire

Aloha

My ohana lost our home in the Lahaina fires on August 8th. Our insurance company has been pretty good, for the most part and we have already received 100% of our coverage A “Dwelling.” However, they are “nickel & diming” us on our contents coverage and I recently had to hire a public adjustor to assist us with this. After we received our coverage A settlement last week, I asked my insurance agent if they were going to cancel our policy and he said that once our current policy ends in February they will not be renewing us. What are our options now? I’m not sure who will want to insure us once we rebuild and if we are able to find insurance how are we going to be able to afford it because I’m sure the cost is going to be outrageous.

Thank you

2 Answers
Answer for Lahaina Fire United Policyholders Staff answered 4 months ago

Dear Kris,

We’re sorry to hear this additional worry on top of the wildfire trauma. There should be a HI law preventing insurers from non-renewing disaster survivors with open claims. To our knowledge there isn’t such a law. Your best bet is to work with an insurance agent on the island who’s familiar with all the potential options – including the home insurer of last resort.

Somewhat recently, the Hawai‘i Insurance Division at the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs issued a bulletin regarding next steps for homeowners who have been non-renewed (https://cca.hawaii.gov/blog/release-universal-property-casualty-to-exit-hawaii-insurance-market/#:~:text=Non%2Drenewal%20will%20begin%20with,policyholders%20on%20Hawai’i%20Island).

Importantly, they note that “If homeowners are unable to obtain Homeowners or Dwelling Fire coverage from a private insurance company, they may qualify for coverage from the Hawaii Property Insurance Association.” (https://www.hpiainfo.com/)

Here’s one of the many commercial websites that list companies that might be an option: https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/homeowners-insurance/hawaii/. Since at this point you only need a policy to protect you from liability claims if someone were to be injured on your lot and to insure the contents you’re replacing – you may be able to find a policy with limited coverage.

We wish you the best of luck in finding a policy for next year.

Amy Bach Amy Bach Staff answered 1 month ago

Dear Kris, 

We’re sorry to hear this additional worry on top of the wildfire trauma – There should be a HI law preventing insurers from non-renewing disaster survivors with open claims. To our knowledge there isn’t such a law. Your best bet is to work with an insurance agent on the island who’s familiar with all the potential options – including the home insurer of last resort.

The Hawai‘i Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs issued a bulletin regarding some possible next steps for homeowners who have been non-renewed: “The Hawai‘i Insurance Division encourages homeowners to talk to their agent to identify insurance coverage options in their area.  If homeowners are unable to obtain Homeowners or Dwelling Fire coverage from a private insurance company, they may qualify for coverage from the Hawaii Property Insurance Association (hpiainfo.com).” (https://cca.hawaii.gov/blog/release-universal-property-casualty-to-exit-hawaii-insurance-market/#:~:text=Non%2Drenewal%20will%20begin%20with,policyholders%20on%20Hawai’i%20Island.)

Here’s one of the many commercial websites that list companies that might be an option. Since at this point you only need a policy to protect you from liability claims if someone were to be injured on your lot and to insure the contents you’re replacing – you may be able to find a policy with limited coverage.

UP’s website also contains information and advice regarding how to shop for a homeowner policy when you have been dropped by your insurer (https://uphelp.org/events/how-to-shop-when-youve-been-dropped/) (https://uphelp.org/dropped-by-your-home-insurer-what-to-do/?print=print).

We wish you the best of luck in finding a policy for next year.