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Home insurance at risk in fire-prone areas

destroyed santa cruz county homes

(KION) For many people in wildfire zones, home insurance has become a necessity to ensure families don't become homeless after a fire tears through their community.

However, one Vacaville family who lost their home in the recent wildfires received a letter from their insurance saying their coverage will not be renewed. This came after the homeowner, Kurt Hatton, lost his job due to the pandemic and then lost their home in the LNU Complex fires.

The insurance company sent the letter of non-renewal in April, but Hatton says he never got it. Now that his coverage is dropped - rebuilding is not an option for him.

KION spoke with the Insurance Information Institute to see what this means for families who have homes in wildfire zones and what options they have if they are at risk of losing their home insurance, or if they have already.

According to Janet Ruiz with the Insurance Information Institute, when people receive the letter from their insurance agency about their coverage not being renewed, they have about 75 days to shop around and find another insurance provider. In the meantime, the current policy is still in effect and should cover anything that happens to your home during that time.

However, a big concern is how insurers across the state are expected to continue abandoning fire-prone areas, leaving countless homeowners at risk, and potentially devastating the housing market if homes become uninsurable.

For the Hatton family in Vacaville, they are one of thousands losing coverage to fire risk and for now they say rebuilding just isn't in the cards.

Ruiz recommends the California FAIR Plan for any homeowner in California on top of any other insurance including robbery, theft, or property damage.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Clara County

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Max Tarlton

Max Tarlton is a morning anchor at KION News Channel 5/46.


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