Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, will hold a virtual town hall meeting today (Wednesday, July 19) to hear from homeowners about Allstate and State Farm pulling out of the home insurance market in California.
State Farm announced in May it would stop accepting applications for all business and personal lines of property and casualty insurance in California because of soaring construction costs after the wildfires in 2020 and 2021. The decision did not impact personal auto insurance.
Allstate announced in November it would pause new homeowners, condo and commercial insurance policies in California to protect current customers.
Berman is inviting his constituents to participate in a virtual town hall meeting from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on July 19. Call his office at (650) 324-0224 for more information or go to https://a23.asmdc.org/event/20230719-insurance-town-hall.
Berman’s guests will include:
• state Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who regulates homeowner insurance companies.
• Woodside Mayor Chris Shaw;
• Chief Denise Enea, fire marshal of Woodside Fire Protection District and executive director of Fire Safe San Mateo County;
• Saratoga City Manager James Lindsay;
• Chief Daniel Berlant, acting state fire marshal with Cal Fire
The cost of rebuilding after the wildfires have forced insurance companies to pay out more money than they’ve been taking in.
Before State Farm announced it was pulling out, the company had requested a 28% rate hike on homeowners’ insurance; Allstate had filed for a 39.6% increase.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the insurance crunch is affecting buyers across the state already, even in areas where the wildfire risk is low. In San Francisco, real estate agents say they have seen deals fall through because would-be buyers couldn’t get insured. Mortgage lenders require homeowners insurance before approving a home sale to protect their investment.