The California Department of Insurance released its 2020 Annual Report of the Insurance Commissioner (IC) on December 20, 2021. In this report, the Department notes that insurer-initiated non-renewals decreased 10% in 2020 over 2019. Insurer losses in 2019 were significantly lower than 2017 and 2018.
Also in 2020, under the authority of SB 824 (Chapter 616, Statutes of 2018), the IC issued one-year moratoriums against non-renewal that covered 2.4 million homes due to the record breaking 4.3 million acre 2020 wildfire season. This brings the three-year total of homes protected by moratorium to over 4 million. CDI also reports policies for the insurer of last resort, the FAIR Plan, which began growing sharply in the fall of 2018, has slowed. Despite growing in market share for the second straight year, the 241,466 FAIR policies in force were only 3% of the overall statewide residential property insurance market.
CDI also reports some successes with large insurers to expand insurance access for consumers. Particularly, CDI reports commitments from Farmers, Allstate, and the California State Automobile Association – the #2, 3, and 4 biggest insurers in the state by market share – to increase the amount of new homeowners policies written and cease or limit non-renewals. Further, progress is reported on providing discounts to homeowners that harden their homes. CDI reports that premium discounts of up to 20% for wildfire-hardened homes are now offered by several companies.