A view of a neighborhood in Palm Springs, California area

As Wildfire Season Looms, More Californians Face Losing Insurance

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California’s moratorium on insurance companies dropping coverage for homeowners in wildfire-prone areas could force more than 2 million residents to find new coverage.

Last year, Californians living in fire-prone areas got temporary relief from losing their homeowners insurance. However, the moratorium is set to end in November.

Wildfires have caused a crisis in California’s insurance market, with companies raising rates for coverage to double or triple as people looked for a replacement, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Fire departments in California brace for another challenging fire season following a dry winter.

Southern California fire chiefs urge residents in fire-prone areas to prepare themselves and their families for potential evacuations. Clearing a defensible space around their properties is another precaution fire departments recommend. 

“We’re in for a long haul, I fear,” Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy said during a news conference late last month. “Take care of that defensible space. Have that ready-set-go information reviewed before that fire hits. Don’t think that fire is so far off that it’s not going to affect you. It will.”

A defensible space involves creating a buffer between a building or home and any wildland area surrounding it.

Experts recommend starting by preparing the home itself by clearing roofs and gutters of debris, repairing or replacing any missing roof shingles, and removing any flammable material away from wall exteriors, and then addressing landscaping.