State Farm will no longer sell new homeowner and property insurance policies in California, citing the state’s wildfire risk and construction costs outpacing inflation.
As of Saturday, the agency will cease accepting new applications, including all business and personal lines property and casualty insurance, it said. State Farm added the decision does not impact personal auto insurance.
“State Farm General Insurance Company made this decision due to historic increases in construction costs outpacing inflation, rapidly growing catastrophe exposure, and a challenging reinsurance market,” the company said in a statement. “We take seriously our responsibility to manage risk. We recognize the Governor’s administration, legislators, and the California Department of Insurance (CDI) for their wildfire loss mitigation efforts. We pledge to work constructively with the CDI and policymakers to help build market capacity in California. However, it’s necessary to take these actions now to improve the company’s financial strength.”
According to Cal Fire, there were 7,490 wildfires in California in 2022, resulting in 362,455 burned acres, nine fatalities and 876 structures damaged or destroyed. A year prior, 3,846 structures were damaged and destroyed in 7,396 wildfires.
Last year, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara submitted new insurance pricing regulations requiring insurance companies to provide discounts to consumers and other certain protections. Among them, insurance companies face a mandatory one-year moratorium on canceling or non-renewing residential insurance policies in certain areas.
The protections also promised larger payouts for some consumer claims, less red tape from insurance companies, and more help for people under evacuation orders.
“My department is laser-focused on doing everything we can to protect consumers and hold insurance companies accountable,” Lara said last year. “My groundbreaking regulation will help more Californians find insurance they can afford. It aligns insurance discounts with fire safety actions being expedited by our state emergency leaders and local governments. And, most importantly, it will save lives by helping California become safer from wildfires.”
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