Californians in Fire Prone Areas Struggle to Find Insurance

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A firefighter watches smoke billow as flames approach a residential area in Sonoma in California on October 10, 2017. Firefighters battled wildfires in California's wine region on Tuesday as the death toll rose to 15 and thousands were left homeless in neighborhoods reduced to ashes. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

California bars insurance companies from cancelling residential property insurance policies for homes in places that burned in the 2020 wildfires. But after years of catastrophic fires, insurance companies are refusing to renew policies for a growing number of the 3 million Californians who have homes in high wildfire risk zones. Finding replacement coverage can cost many times more than an original policy. Now, the insurance industry is talking about raising rates based on a home’s exposure to climate change induced catastrophe.  We’ll hear about a growing crisis in the state’s insurance market, and what the industry, consumer advocates, and  legislators are trying to do about it.  


Janet Ruiz, California spokeswoman, Insurance Information Institute

Carmen Balber, executive director, Consumer Watchdog

Miranda Green, freelance journalist, covers climate change

Bob Roper, board chair, California Fire Safe Council