Residents of California are struggling to find fire insurance policies to cover their houses after finding old policies cancelled or reduced. Over $24 billion in claims in the past two years caused insurance companies to raise premiums or limit coverage, pricing out even residents who have worked to increase their house’s fire resiliency.
The Maria Fire in Southern California threatens thousands of structures and has forced almost 11,000 people to evacuate. There's no end in sight for firefighters, or for homeowners living in fire-prone areas. Many have had their insurance policies dropped and are desperate for coverage.
Frances Mann Craik is among at least 350,000 Californians whose fire insurance policies have been canceled. She had the same coverage for 18 years.
"I've paid thousands and thousands of dollars in premiums and insurance and never gotten a cent back," Craik said.
Now Craik and homeowner Pat O'Coffey are scrambling to find coverage. O'Coffey has lived in California for 25 years and said she's never had any trouble getting insurance before.