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Why Fire Insurance Coverage is Disappearing in California Communities

ORANGEVALE -- If you got a letter from your insurance company saying your policy no longer covers fire damages, you’re not alone.

“Folsom Lake area, those people are slotted for cancelation now,” Aurora Mullett, Intrinsic Insurance president, told FOX40. “Loomis, Newcastle, Rocklin.”

Mullett says wildfires like the Tubbs Fire and Camp Fire have started to change how companies are looking at fire insurance.

“These homes that were in certain what's called fire scores, fire line scores and brush scores that according to the modeling should never have burned, ended up burning,” Mullett said.

Real estate broker Ken Calhoon says the increased cost is causing a lot of people to move away from their rural properties in El Dorado County.

“We have more houses listed, they’re taking longer to sell,” Calhoon said. "We're seeing fewer multiple offers on those properties."

He says most of the families who moved out to this part of the county are getting older. Some are too old to properly maintain the land themselves.

“I live on 10 acres. There are times I think it’s nine too many,” he said.

Calhoon says other costs are also going up.

“It’s like PG&E costs are going up. We’re faced with outages or the potential of outages,” he told FOX40. “Fire insurance just adds to that cost if you can get fire insurance.”

But Mullett says those who are no longer being offered fire protection still have options.

“For a customer, the strongest thing that I can recommend is that they get in contact with an independent broker,” she said. “So they can really make sure that they’ve exhausted their efforts.”

One option for customers losing fire protection is California’s fair plan, which offers bare-bones coverage.

Insurance agents we spoke with say that should only be the last resort because it does not include theft or liability insurance.

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