Insurance Companies Leave California, Citing Wildfires

Image taken in Camp, California in November 2018. Image source: Cal OES via Flickr

Allstate and State Farm have announced that they are no longer selling new home insurance policies in California. This comes after an increase in destructive wildfires. The corporations had previously proposed increasing insurance premiums – even in areas of low wildfire risk – but were not allowed to do so by the state insurance commissioner, prompting them to stop selling home insurance entirely.

This leaves many Californians unable to get affordable home insurance, as the risk from climate-change-induced wildfires continues to grow. For now, the state-run insurance pool still provides insurance, but it will face pressure as its enrollment surges.

Insurance companies are now accounting for the risk of destruction from climate change in their business plans. They are even using it as an opportunity to try to profit by raising prices. The capitalist system knows that climate disaster is coming, but instead of preventing it by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, corporations see it as a way to make money. Meanwhile, we all pay the price of climate change.