Stats in Your State
Beverly Hills isn’t doing it alone: expensive homes and high property values put California well above the national average in most matters regarding homeowners insurance rates and property sales.
Homeowner Insurance Premiums
The financial boom of the mid-2000’s increased property values across California up through 2008, and as such raised the average homeowners insurance premium along with it.
Renter Insurance Premiums
Dollar for dollar, renter’s insurance premiums in California have risen to as high as 30% above the national average in recent years. Renters insurance premiums are generally more stable when compared with the volatile housing market.
Existing Home Sales
Yearly numbers of home sales in California hit a decade-low of 355,000 in 2007, but jumped right back up to over half a million homes sold in 2009, likely due to the unstable housing market in the final years of the decade.
Flood Insurance in Region
Despite its desert, mountains, and beaches, California still suffers from yearly flooding. The year beginning October 1, 2012 saw nearly 700 California flood claims with nearly $10 million in damages.
With its seemingly ever-expanding population, California’s demand for modern homes increases every year. Based on the numbers, that trend shows no signs of slowing. Whatever year your home was built in, be sure to have a thorough home inspection prior to signing that dotted line; use this information when shopping for home insurance coverage.
Rules in Your State
The plague of wildfires in 2003 caused the California legislature to reexamine the way homeowners insurance companies operate in terms of cancellations, renewals, and rate adjustments. Consumers now have more rights than ever to hold their insurers accountable and be treated fairly.
California Home Insurance Premiums and Rate Changes
Per regulations set forth by the California Department of Insurance, the insurer has sixty days from the policy's effective date in which to verify the rating and underwriting of a new policy. Within these sixty days, a company must notify you of any error and change in premiums. After sixty days, no notice of change of premium shall be effective.
Cancellations and Non-renewals
After a residential policy has been in effect for sixty days it can be canceled for limited reasons which include nonpayment of premium, fraud, material misrepresentation, or physical changes in the insured property that increase any hazard insured against.
Recent Legislation To Protect Homeowners
Recent legislation following the 2003 Southern California firestorms has resulted in better protection for consumers and homeowners. Many of these laws protect homeowners in the event of total loss damage to their home, and allow for extended time limits on policy renewals and evaluations of their homes following catastrophes.
Representatives & Resources in Your State
Consumer advocacy has never been more important for California’s growing population as it faces both high insurance premiums and the threat of wildfires, earthquakes, and a number of other risks to their homes and property. The following resources and representatives are great starting points for homeowners who wish to learn more about homeowners insurance or to contact their local government for support on an issue or a claim.
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1700
Sacramento, CA 95814
FEMA Region 9 Contact Information
As the primary disaster relief resource for citizens across the country, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)’s mission statement is “to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.”