Photo: Dwight Burdette

Farmers Insurance began limiting the sale of new homeowners insurance policies in California on July 3, the company, a subsidiary of the Zurich Insurance Group, announced Friday.

Farmers is the No. 2 homeowners insurer in California.

Farmers’ action follows American International Group’s curbing homeowners insurance sales for owners at high risk of floods, storms, or wildfires in 200 U.S. zip codes; State Farm’s halting the sale of insurance coverage to all homeowners in California; and Allstate’s stopping the sale of new home, condominium, and commercial insurance policies in California.

These insurers are responding to an increasing number of natural disasters, many of them more severe, due to climate change. While climate change will impact homes differently across the country, policyholders will likely face higher rates and higher deductibles, while insurers will become more selective about providing coverage and may provide lower payouts.

About 115 insurance companies are still in operation in California.

If you’re having difficulty finding homeowners insurance, contact the California Department of Insurance. An option, the FAIR Plan is available as insurance of last resort and offers up to $3 million coverage for homeowners. It’s basic fire insurance for high-risk homeowners that can’t get insurance through a preferred property insurer. The FAIR Plan is offered through a shared market where insurance companies agree to share the risk of California homeowners who don’t qualify for voluntary coverage.

If you have problems finding insurance in another state, call the Insurance Commissioner’s Office where you live.

Originally Published on

Rita Robison Consumer & Personal Finance Journalist

For more than two decades, Rita R. Robison has been a consumer and personal finance journalist making her living by finding the best bargains, calling out the crooks, and advocating for regular people just like you and me. In that time, Robison has talked to so many people who feel like their money just isn’t getting them what they want, where they want to be, or the life they thought it would.

The purpose of her blog is to help you get what you want from your money. Robison covers financial goals, budgets, debt reduction, saving, smart choices for buying goods and services, and retirement planning. You’ll also find articles on safety, such as avoiding scams, looking out for rip off companies, and getting informed on the latest recalls.

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