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Why is getting home insurance so difficult in Marin County?

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The Home Insurance Landscape in the San Francisco Bay Area is changing dramatically. In some areas - such as Marin County, finding good home insurance is becoming as difficult as finding a suitable home.

The typical Preferred carriers are offering up less and less insurance policies in this area, more consumers are being forced to work with Non Admitted Insurers and the California Fair Plan.

This slideshare reviews the current California Insurance Landscape along with the particulars of Marin County California.

Lastly we review a quick few ideas to assist consumers in finding the best home insurance option.

Publié dans : Économie & finance
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Why is getting home insurance so difficult in Marin County?

  1. 1. Why is Getting Home Insurance so Difficult in Marin County? Scott W Johnson/ 0H11625
  2. 2. 2019: In the last six months I have received hundreds of requests for help from people that cannot find home insurance.
  3. 3. A California Insurance Update: 2019 Insurance Update for California: • California has lots of admitted home insurers, Its the largest home insurance market in the country. • Contrary to what you might think, our home insurance premiums, on average are not that high relative to numerous other states. • But - Home prices in California are higher than in most the country. • Generally speaking California is not threatened by Hurricanes. But we are threatened by Floods, Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Landslides, and of course Wildfires. • Wildfires are currently the largest single issue, in my opinion for insureds, seeking to buy a new home insurance policy.
  4. 4. A California Insurance Update Cont: 2019 Insurance Update for California: • Merced Property & Casualty, went out of business following the 2018 wildfires. According the LA Times: The "insurer had assets of about $23 million, but (was) expected it might have to pay out as much as $64 million in claims for properties in Paradise." The company was taken over the California Department of Insurance. • In my opinion, most home insurers that I work with are tightening up their underwriting standards. This can include limiting the wildfire zones that a given insurer accepts, not taking homes on dead end streets, requiring more safety devices, etc.
  5. 5. Background on Marin County: • Expensive Home • Many homes located in and near flood zones • Many homes located in Wildfire zones • People with multiple homes • Clients who rent out their home, part time, through the likes of Air BnB • People with Complex forms of Ownership of the home • It is worth pointing out (again)that Homes are expensive in this county. Especially when viewed from a cost per square foot for single family dwellings. Although a million dollars in the East Coast can certainly be spent, often those single family dwellings are 3000 feet. In Marin county that is often a million dollars might get you 1200 sq fixer with no garage.
  6. 6. Status of Home Insurance in Marin County: • Numerous Name Brand Captive Agency Insurance Companies will take write almost no new insurance in parts of Marin. • It is important to note here that there is a distinct difference between existing homeowners with existing insurance vs the new buyers that purchase that same home. Just because State Farm wrote the home for the Old Owners, does not mean that they will write it for the New Owners • Most Name Brand Captive Agency Insurance Companies will no longer accept new policies in Tiburon, Mill Valley, Sausalito, and West Marin. This area seems to be growing though… • Alternative forms of homeowners insurance are becoming commonplace.
  7. 7. Wildfires in Marin: • Marin County has not seen a truly large wildfire in a long time. • The last notable wildfire in Marin County took place on Angel Island in 2008. • 45 homes and 354 acres were burned up in 1995 in the Mount Vision Fire in 1995. • In 1929 The Great Mill Valley Fire burned up about 117 homes. According to Fire Safe Marin that same footprint today would constitute over 1100 homes. • However with no wildfires, there has no been no natural way to clean up the lumber. And Marin has a lot of that: Redwoods, Oaks, Eucalyptus and hundreds of others types of trees. Depending on which resource you use the county is comprised of upwards of 70 or 75% by public lands. This includes: National Parks, State Parks, Local Open Spaces, Water and Sanitation District Land. This does not include the semi wild lands controlled by MALT and Ranches.
  8. 8. How to Get Home Insurance in Marin County: If you receive a notice of non renewal OR if you have trouble landing insurance with new home: • Reach out TWO captive agency insurers. These include State Farm, Farmers, Nationwide, Allstate, AAA, etc. • At the same time reach out to at least ONE Independent Agency. Independents are able to write policies with Dozens of carriers.
  9. 9. Four Types of Home Insurance: • Preferred Home Insurance • Non Standard Home Insurance • Non Admitted Home Insurance • The California FAIR plan with the appropriate Wrapper Policy
  10. 10. marindependent.com 415-294-5454

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