Here are the results of the survey conducted this past spring. There is an alarming trend; fewer companies are writing policies in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) areas like ours and when they do, the policies are much more expensive.
This is not really the fault of the insurance companies. But rather the result of deferred maintenance of our forests and wildlands. Fire is a natural part of the process to clear lands. But now that there are so many of us living in these WUI areas, wildfires can't be left to clear land like in ages past.
Therefore, it is important for us to clear our properties to protect our homes from wildfire disaster. That's why Defensible Space to at least 100 feet from structures is so important. This has proven to save homes during wildfires. See our Defensible Space recommendations elsewhere in our Web site.
Below are the results of the survey conducted by United Policyholders -
Survey Collection Time Frame: February 23rd – April 24th, 2017
Survey Responses: 1002 completed
Nevada County represents approximately 60% of the total responses received.
Do you have homeowners insurance?
• 96% - Yes, I have homeowners insurance
• 2.5% - No, I do not have homeowners insurance
• 1.5% - No (renter)
How is the cost of home insurance impacting you?
• My home insurance is affordable: 68% agree
• My home Insurance has increased in the last 3 years: 77% agree
• I am struggling to pay my home insurance: 21% agree
• I dropped my insurance because I couldn’t afford it: 1% agree
• I recently moved because of the cost of my insurance: 2% agree
• The cost of home insurance is one of the reasons I am in foreclosure: 1% agree
Do you receive any discounts on your home insurance?
• 6% receive a home improvement/mitigation discount
• 51% receive a multi-policy discount
• 36% do not receive any discounts
20% of respondents had been “dropped” by their home insurance company in the last 3
years. Who had dropped them?
• 18% Hartford
• 13% Allstate
• 11% Liberty Mutual
• 11% State Farm
• 10% Farmers
80% of respondents reported an insurance company or agent did NOT make specific
improvements in order to keep your policy.
The last time you shopped for home insurance did you have choices between different
37% - Yes
40% - No
23% - I don’t remember
93% of respondents reported they have NEVER contacted the California Department of
Insurance about your home insurance?
419 Survey Respondents are willing to share their insurance story with the media or elected
officials to help fight unfair insurance practices.
“After my mortgage, Insurance is my largest monthly expense.”
“We are upset that we had to start from scratch with a new insurance co. and pay double of what we used to
pay. We have never filed a claim under our homeowners so we should be desirable to insure.”
“Been with Liberty Mutual for approx 8 yrs. $1300.00 received increase to $2600.00. next year received a non
“I was told specifically that my property was rejected solely due to a new computer program that puts me in
a high risk. A site analysis showed all necessary measures had been taken on the property for fire protection,
however, this program combined with neighboring properties not having thinned vegetation and reduced
ladder fuels was my reason for denial.”
“Our fire department has cleared the forest around us. We have an excellent prevention program, yet USSA
wouldn't insure us. We'd been with 45 years.”
“Personally, I have a secure policy. However, as a Real Estate broker I'm constantly coming up against a
client's inability to procure reasonable insurance, if they can find anything at all...”
“I am a professional in the insurance industry and I struggled to find coverage when I was able to quote & talk
with various carriers about the risk myself”
“I was with Fireman’s Fund for 35 years! and still they dropped me. USAA kept asking me to bundle my auto
insurance with homeowners, but then refused to insure my home when asked. I now have to pay 3X what
the policy was, even though I have sprinklers in my home, brush and flammable trees are properly cleared.”
“I don't want to do anything to rock the boat with State Farm”
“my current policy is way too high at $2800 per year, my current quote for my June expiration date is $5800, I
am considering leaving California between the tax on everything to now this it's no longer worth being here.”
“I would like to shop for other, possibly lower cost insurance, but am afraid to switch companies. I have been
with State Farm for over 40 years and figure that if I switched companies I wouldn't have the same track
record with them.”
“When I paid my premium renewal in January 2017, I asked about discounts for being in a Fire Wise
Community certified as such since 2010. My agent told me that if I purchased my same house today or if I
moved to another house in this same area as my primary residence today, he would not be able to write me
a homeowners policy even though we were in a Fire Wise Community. However, if the home I purchased was
not my primary residence but would be rented out, he could write a policy for me. He & other agents in
wooded wildland rural areas are fighting this. He said it's a matter of market penetration for the company in
various insurance categories.”
“The insurance has gone up from 1200 to 3800. The house has cement board siding, metal roof, ironwood
deck and has very good vegetation clearance 100-200 ft. Our rates are going up? What more can I do to my
house than what I have done!”