UP Petitions for CA Wildfire Insurance Investigation

Placer and Mariposa County Officials John McEldowney and Rosemarie Smallcombe have been coordinating with United Policyholders to help their residents keep and maintain quality insurance on their homes. Pictured here UP Executive Director Amy Bach before a Spring 2017 meeting of the Insurance Subgroup of CA Governor Brown’s Tree Mortality Task Force in Sacramento.


United Policyholders launched a Wildfire Mitigation and Insurance Project in California in 2016 to help households in brush areas maintain insurance protection on their homes, and participate in related public policy discussions with public officials, insurance companies and other stakeholders.  In addition to publishing tips for consumers, UP is participating in an insurance working Subgroup of the CA Governor’s Tree Mortality Task Force, engaging in fact-finding with fire fighting agencies, and conducting surveys.

In furtherance of this work, United Policyholders filed a formal Petition with the California Department of Insurance requesting that they conduct a series of investigatory hearings throughout the state.  The Petition identifies a number of circumstances that need to be investigated:

– In what regions and how many property owners have recently been dropped/nonrenewed by the “admitted” insurance companies they’d previously been insured with?  Admitted insurers are fully licensed and regulated and protected by the http://www.caiga.org.

– Have these property owners been able to replace their coverage through other admitted companies, or are they now insured through non-admitted companies or the state-run CA Fair Plan?

– To what extent are non-renewals by admitted companies being driven by Wildfire Risk Models?

– Are Wildfire Risk Models having an appropriate or disproportionate impact on the home insurance marketplace in California?

– Are Wildfire Risk Models sufficiently taking mitigation/risk reduction and local firefighting resources into consideration?


Petition for Investigatory Hearings PDF