Fire Insurance Canceled for Homeowners in Oakland

A growing number of home owners are getting notices from their insurance companies claiming their homeowners’ policy is not being renewed because their properties pose an unacceptable risk of wildfire.

"I can't believe someone can make this decision without inspection of the area," said Fred Perkins from Oakland Hills.

Perkins received the notice last month. He moved into his home more than a decade after the devastating 1991 Oakland Hills fire.

As Perkins searches for a new policy, the state insurance commissioner’s office said it’s hearing from people state-wide who are facing the same cancelation.

With destructive fires sweeping the state, the commissioner is urging lawmakers to establish laws that will improve fire insurance availability.

Liberty Mutual Insurance provided the following statement:

"Our primary goal is to ensure that we are there for our customers when they need us the most by delivering on our promise to handle claims quickly and fairly. Unfortunately, due to California’s significant wildfire exposure, we have taken the difficult but necessary step to responsibly manage our overall exposure to wildfires through underwriting decisions on new and renewal policies. We continue to write homeowners insurance throughout the state, and review each risk individually to ensure it does not present an unacceptable wildfire exposure. This long-term management strategy is not in response to any specific recent fires, and is necessary to safeguard our ability to pay policyholders’ homeowner claims."

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