Since you had so many questions, I thought I would answer them right after your questions. 😊 Please see below-
“Last year AIG did not renew my homeowner’s policy. My USI broker got me a policy with Rivington Partners. They too now dropped me!” – Sadly this does happen with frequency these days as the insurers offering policies in California are few and far in-between. The non-renewals of policies is typically based on an insurer attempting to properly price and underwrite the policies it has. Unfortunately, you were a new client, however I assume you, this was happening to many with that company alongside you.
“Since 10/8/23 my USI broker is looking for alternatives, but still no word from him. My current homeowners/umbrella/auto insurances expire 11/20/23!!” – I would suggest that you check with another independent insurance broker since different brokers have access to different insurers.
“Q1: Owning my home free/clear and having the means, I seriously consider going without homeowners & umbrella insurance. Besides the obvious, what are the consequences?” – Strongly discourage going uninsured, especially since you own your home free and clear. Effectively, you had a loan and therefore a DEBT and you insured that debt. Now, it is fully an ASSET of yours and you must find a way to properly protect your ASSETS.
“Q2: In lieu of an Umbrella policy, I googled “Liability-only insurance,” but had no luck. If liability-only insurance even exists, which carriers sell them?”- For reasons above, not many companies are offering standalone liability policies at this time. Note – an umbrella and a personal liability policy are NOT the same product. Suggest again, checking with other independent brokers to find an option that works.
“Q3: Why is it legal in CA to have no homeowners policy, yet one cannot get a customized homeowners policy excluding wildfire and similar perils?” – There is no law that says you must have fire insurance, although if you have a loan on the house, the bank will require you to have it to protect their collateral (the house) against