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April 09, 2024



Could insurers also deny insurance for all those multi family units??


I imagine they could and probably for multiple reasons--or they just jack up the price and send people to the state option (FAIR).

I had an off-line question about house density (we have a few shy readers), asking how the insurers would know what is next to you? Here's how:

Across the U.S., insurance companies are using aerial images of homes as a tool to ditch properties seen as higher risk.

Nearly every building in the country is being photographed, often without the owner’s knowledge. Companies are deploying drones, manned airplanes and high-altitude balloons to take images of properties. No place is shielded: The industry-funded Geospatial Insurance Consortium has an airplane imagery program it says covers 99% of the U.S. population.

The array of photos is being sorted by computer models to spy out underwriting no-nos, such as damaged roof shingles, yard debris, overhanging tree branches and undeclared swimming pools or trampolines. The red-flagged images are providing insurers with ammunition for nonrenewal notices nationwide.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase across the country in reports from consumers who’ve been dropped by their insurers on the basis of an aerial image,” said Amy Bach, executive director of consumer group United Policyholders.


I'm not sure what Josh Becker knows about insurance modeling, but he should have at it anyway. From today's Merc:

State Sen. Josh Becker, a Menlo Park Democrat, has introduced a bill that would require insurers to consider the state’s efforts to thin flammable brush and trees as well as property owners’ steps to make their homes more fire resistant, such as covering vents and clearing vegetation. Those efforts would need to be incorporated into their risk modeling to determine coverage decisions and costs.

“What we’re seeing is that in addition to the impact of home hardening, that forest treatment is going to have a big impact on wildfire risk, and that’s not being taken into account,” Becker said. “You have to take these into consideration.”

Becker’s bill, SB 1060, comes as state officials scramble to prop up a home insurance market on the brink of collapse, with major insurers restricting coverage and refusing to renew policies in many parts of the state. The bill is scheduled for its first hearing before the Insurance Committee on April 24.

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association, which represents insurers, said that while it supports wildfire mitigation efforts such as home and community hardening, the bill “has several complicating factors to consider.”

“The California Department of Insurance already requires insurers that use risk models to take into consideration specific mitigations and provide consumers discounts,” the industry association said.
That last bit about discounts for specific mitigations could be more transparent. As a homeowner in Tahoe in a development that has spent large sums of time and money on defensible space, I'm not sure that is being taken into account. I ask, but the answers are vague.

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