More California Homeowners Struggle to Get Fire Insurance

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s top insurance regulator says insurers are increasingly refusing to offer homeowner’s policies in areas prone to wildfire.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones reported Thursday that in 2016 insurers refused to renew more than 10,000 policies in the 24 counties most prone to the blazes. That was up 15 percent from the prior year.

Some consumers can still get coverage from other insurance companies. But Jones says there’s also been an increase in people forced to turn to the state’s last-resort fire insurance program that provides policies to people who can’t get them from traditional insurers.

Jones says the problem will get worse as insurers deem more houses as wildfire risks following last year’s devastating wildfires, which destroyed thousands of homes.