Insurance companies abandoning California at a faster rate, as wildfires wreak havoc

by Dale Kasler, Sacramento Bee


  • Deputy Insurance Commissioner Bryant Henley announced that insurance companies have dropped many Californians in the Sierra foothills after the 2017 and 2018 wildfire season resulted in losses of $25 billion for those companies
  • 42,088 homeowners were sent non-renewal in the foothill counties in 2019 and had to purchase replacement coverage at double or triple their original insurance costs, many on the California FAIR Plan
  • Enrollees of the California FAIR Plan, the state’s “insurer of last resort,” jumped from 140,000 in 2018 to over 200,000 this August
  • Industry officials say climate change and other factors are making increasingly large swaths of California almost uninsurable and affordable insurance will be less easy to obtain as fire seasons intensify 

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US insurance industry lags in divesting from fossil fuels

by Insure Our Future

The number of insurance companies withdrawing coverage for coal has more than doubled in 2019 as the industry’s retreat from the sector accelerates and spreads beyond Europe, the Unfriend Coal campaign revealed in Insuring Coal No More, its third annual scorecard on insurance and climate change. However, the report finds that even with the first U.S. coal and tar sands policies announced in 2019, the U.S. industry still lags far behind its European peers.

Coal exit policies have been announced by 17 of the world’s biggest insurers which control 46% of the global reinsurance market and 9.5% of the primary insurance market. Most refuse to insure new mines and power plants, while companies that scored highest in the report, like Swiss Re and Zurich, also ended coverage for existing coal projects and the companies that operate them, and have adopted similar policies for tar sands.

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