Friday, July 19, 2019

Re: [CaliforniaDisasters] Homeowner's insurance rates in wildfire-prone areas on rise



In San Diego AARP Homeowners went up 900.00!  Plus, other insurance companies won't take the house due to the TREES!


Homeowner's insurance rates in wildfire-prone areas on rise

"Insurance is risk-based priced, and so rates have to reflect the risk of loss," Ganley explained.

Ganley said because of the wildfires over the last two years, insurers have paid out about $26 billion in insurance claims for California homeowners.

"Some insurance paid out $2.50 for every dollar they took in," Ganley said. "If you were a business, you wouldn't stay in business for very long if you paid out more than what you took in -- sell insurance or balancing their book of business. There are some areas where insurers (are) not renewing, but 98.1% of the market is still covered by admitted insurers. Insurers are still committed to California."

Chris and Hannah Robbins quickly found out how much more expensive homeowners insurance rates are in wildfire-prone areas.

"Our insurance rates went from about $600 in Woodland to about $3,000 in the Foothills," Chris Robbins said.

The couple gets the keys to their new home in Meadow Vista on Friday. Although their insurance rate is much higher in the Placer County town than what they're used to paying, it's still much cheaper than their first choice.

"The costs did actually influence our home shopping," Chris Robbins said. "We were considering moving as high up as Colfax, but insurance was probably about $5,000 a year up there."

According to an April report released by the Gov. Gavin Newsom's wildfire strike team, homeowners in wildfire-prone areas saw a double-digit rate increase.

Consumers complaints about policies not being renewed doubled in the last two years, the report found.

"After two consecutive years of massive homeowners insurance loss ratios of insurers – 201% in 2017 and 170% in 2018 -- there is a sense of urgency about the decreasing availability and affordability in 2019, especially for regions with high wildfire risk," the report said.

Ganley said insurance rates can only be changed with state approval.

"Insurance rates in California are regulated by the California Department of Insurance, and insurers cannot just charge what they want," she said. "Rates have to be approved before they're charged. So, these rates have been approved and thoroughly vetted, but they reflect the risk of loss."

The report, citing the California Department of Insurance, said many regions of the state face insurance availability and affordability constraints.

"This is evidenced by increasing non-renewals and significant insurance premium increases in the areas of the state affected by wildfires," the report said.

Real estate broker Fred Eichenhofer said a client's policy was canceled, but it ended up being a positive thing.

"He was paying $2,200 a year with AAA, and he got a quote for $1,500 a year with a new company," Eichenhofer said. "So he got canceled, but he was able to replace it at a reduced rate."

Ganley said homeowners should periodically update their policy and shop around for better deals because like Eichenhofer's client, they may be pleasantly surprised.

"Talk to a local agent, talk to multiple carriers, because while one company had really bad losses, another might not have," Ganley said.

To get lower insurance rates, Ganley also recommends that homeowners increase their deductibles or bundle their homeowner's insurance with their auto insurance.

[CaliforniaDisasters] Homeowner's insurance rates in wildfire-prone areas on rise

Homeowner's insurance rates in wildfire-prone areas on rise

"Insurance is risk-based priced, and so rates have to reflect the risk of loss," Ganley explained.

Ganley said because of the wildfires over the last two years, insurers have paid out about $26 billion in insurance claims for California homeowners.

"Some insurance paid out $2.50 for every dollar they took in," Ganley said. "If you were a business, you wouldn't stay in business for very long if you paid out more than what you took in -- sell insurance or balancing their book of business. There are some areas where insurers (are) not renewing, but 98.1% of the market is still covered by admitted insurers. Insurers are still committed to California."

Chris and Hannah Robbins quickly found out how much more expensive homeowners insurance rates are in wildfire-prone areas.

"Our insurance rates went from about $600 in Woodland to about $3,000 in the Foothills," Chris Robbins said.

The couple gets the keys to their new home in Meadow Vista on Friday. Although their insurance rate is much higher in the Placer County town than what they're used to paying, it's still much cheaper than their first choice.

"The costs did actually influence our home shopping," Chris Robbins said. "We were considering moving as high up as Colfax, but insurance was probably about $5,000 a year up there."

According to an April report released by the Gov. Gavin Newsom's wildfire strike team, homeowners in wildfire-prone areas saw a double-digit rate increase.

Consumers complaints about policies not being renewed doubled in the last two years, the report found.

"After two consecutive years of massive homeowners insurance loss ratios of insurers – 201% in 2017 and 170% in 2018 -- there is a sense of urgency about the decreasing availability and affordability in 2019, especially for regions with high wildfire risk," the report said.

Ganley said insurance rates can only be changed with state approval.

"Insurance rates in California are regulated by the California Department of Insurance, and insurers cannot just charge what they want," she said. "Rates have to be approved before they're charged. So, these rates have been approved and thoroughly vetted, but they reflect the risk of loss."

The report, citing the California Department of Insurance, said many regions of the state face insurance availability and affordability constraints.

"This is evidenced by increasing non-renewals and significant insurance premium increases in the areas of the state affected by wildfires," the report said.

Real estate broker Fred Eichenhofer said a client's policy was canceled, but it ended up being a positive thing.

"He was paying $2,200 a year with AAA, and he got a quote for $1,500 a year with a new company," Eichenhofer said. "So he got canceled, but he was able to replace it at a reduced rate."

Ganley said homeowners should periodically update their policy and shop around for better deals because like Eichenhofer's client, they may be pleasantly surprised.

"Talk to a local agent, talk to multiple carriers, because while one company had really bad losses, another might not have," Ganley said.

To get lower insurance rates, Ganley also recommends that homeowners increase their deductibles or bundle their homeowner's insurance with their auto insurance.

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[CaliforniaDisasters] FIREX-AQ: Investigating smoke from wildfires and biomass burning

Overview

Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ), a joint venture led by NOAA and NASA, provides comprehensive observations to investigate the impact on air quality and climate from wildfires and agricultural fires across the continental United States.


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[CaliforniaDisasters] Updated quake map tells you if you live in a liquefaction zone

Updated quake map tells you if you live in a liquefaction zone

It also highlights areas at risk of landslides
Updated 2:00 pm PDT, Monday, April 8, 2019

  • A new earthquake mapping app shows liquefaction- or landfill-prone zones in California. The app allows users to zoom down to block level to see if their home lies in any of the at-risk areas. Photo: California Dept. Of Conservation
  A new earthquake mapping app shows liquefaction- or landfill-prone zones in California. The app allows users to zoom down to block level to see if their home lies in any of the at-risk areas.   Photo: California Dept. Of   Conservation

Beside number of bedrooms and quality of school districts, prospective Bay Area home buyers might want to consider their target home's chances of survival in the event of a major earthquake.

After all, the latest research shows that California is long overdue for a massive, ground-rupturing temblor on a major fault. We haven't had one in 100 years.

An online map application from the California Geological Survey (CGS) can help. The California Earthquake Hazards Zone Application (EQ Zapp) drills down to the block level to show if your house (or one that you're looking to buy) sits on sturdy ground or if it's at risk of liquefaction or landslides during a quake of 5.5 magnitude earthquake or larger.

The data that the app draws on for San Francisco is nearly 20 years old. The liquefaction zones shown in dark green are well-known — landfill areas including the Marina, Fisherman's Wharf, Dogpatch and South of Market. Landslide-prone areas are marked in light blue.

The CGS last week released five new Seismic Hazard Zones maps affecting communities in Contra Costa and San Mateo counties. They are:
  • Antioch North quadrangle
  • Antioch South quadrangle
  • Honker Bay quadrangle
  • Montara Mountain quadrangle
  • Woodside quadrangle.

The Contra Costa communities covered include all or parts of Antioch, Concord, Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg and Bay Point. In San Mateo, communities impacted include all or parts of Woodside, San Carlos, Belmont, Burlingame, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, Portola Valley and Pacifica.

Some Bay Area locations – for example, northern Pacifica and Daly City — have not been evaluated for liquefaction or landslide. 

Damage to the Marina District, San Francisco, following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Photo: Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images
Photo: Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images

Damage to the Marina District, San Francisco, following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

SEE ALSO: Living in a liquefaction zone — the Bay Area's riskiest neighborhoods

Living in an area with high risk of liquefaction does not necessarily mean your house will be damaged should a major quake strike. Newer buildings and retro-fitted structures are better equipped to weather temblors, especially those in modern, engineered artificial fill zones.

You can read more about about the Bay Area's liquefaction zones here.



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[CaliforniaDisasters] Trump Administration Backs Off Threat to Audit California Wildfire Fighting Agreement

Trump Administration Backs Off Threat to Audit California Wildfire Fighting Agreement

A growing dispute between the Trump administration and California firefighting agencies over millions of dollars in back pay has ended with both sides agreeing to maintain an existing cooperation agreement, according to officials.

At stake was more than $9 million of a total $72-million reimbursement request that California made of the U.S. Forest Service after helping to battle wildfires on federal lands in 2018. Those fires included the Camp fire that killed 85 people in November 2018 and the Carr fire that killed a Redding firefighter and seven others that summer.

The reimbursement total was calculated using average salary, overtime, and other expenses for all firefighters assisting on federal incidents, the California Office of Emergency Services said. That method of billing was stipulated in the California Fire Assistance Agreement in effect from 2015-2020. However, the federal government disputed the calculation earlier this year and threatened to withhold some of the payment.

Under the agreement announced Tuesday, California will continue with its current methodology. A Forest Service employee will "help with the initial review of some invoices," the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.



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[CaliforniaDisasters] Silent Film Night to Help Paramount Ranch's Rebuilding

The historic Western Town was lost to the Woolsey Fire in 2018, but there is a come-together way to help its future.

July 19, 2019
Silent Film Night to Help Paramount Ranch's Rebuilding
Paramount Ranch
Help the rebuilding of this famous Western Town by attending a film fundraiser on July 21. The suggested donation is ten dollars.

It seemed, at first glance, to be a horrific scene from a movie: Fire tearing through an Old West-style town, the sort of quaint village that sports a saloon, a stable, and the throwback sights of a dusty but charming 1800s-era village.

Unfortunately, the dramatic moment wasn't created by computer technology in some Hollywood editing room. Paramount Ranch, the historic Western Town movie set based in Agoura Hills, really did encounter real-life flames when the Woolsey Fire swept through the area in early November 2018.

Local historians, concerned neighbors, movie fans, and lovers of old California destinations soon took action, and a promise to rebuild the Western Town was made.

To help that vow, there have been and will be fundraisers to aid the rebirth of Paramount Ranch. And one's just ahead, on Sunday, July 21.

No surprise that a silent film, a work hailing from the time when Paramount Pictures first began filming at the rustic ranch back in the late '20s, will be the feature of the night.

It's "The Kid Brother" starring Harold Lloyd, and all the money raised will be donated to helping the rebuild.

Entry to the Heal the Ranch Benefit? The suggested donation is $10, and children under the age of 12 may enter for free. 

Showing with a flashlight is a must, and picnicking ahead of time is an option.

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[CaliforniaDisasters] On This Date In California Weather History (July 19)

2015: Moisture from Hurricane Dolores, along with monsoon moisture resulted in showers and thunderstorms over most of Southern California on 7/18 and this day.
Rainfall ranged from 0.5" to 4", including a record 1.7" at San Diego on 7/18.
This was unprecedented July rainfall: record single-day and July monthly total.
These two days recorded two of the three wettest July days on the San Diego record.
The San Diego River at Fashion Valley had two crests above monitor stage, 7.7 feet on 7/18 a nd 8.8 feet on this day.
A debris flow hit the burn scar of Silverado Canyon on this day as well as flash floods in Moreno Valley, Perris, and La Mesa.
Aided by lingering tropical moisture from former hurricane Dolores, intense
thunderstorms with torrential rain developed near Desert Center.
Over 6" of rain fell over several hours along and just to the south of Interstate 10, just to the west of Desert Center.
Eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 collapsed where they crossed a heavily flowing wash.
A vehicle drove into the hole in the collapsed bridge, trapping the driver and requiring rescue.
I-10 was closed in both directions causing huge traffic backups.
Two landspout tornadoes were observed in open desert just north of Landers on this day.

2013: On the evening of July 19th, a thunderstorm developed near Nellis Air Force Base along an outflow boundary and moved south across the Las Vegas Valley.
This storm was one of the most intense ever to cross the valley with respect to wind. Nellis Air Force Base measured sustained winds of 59 mph with a gust to 71 mph.
Sustained tropical storm force winds were recorded across the heart of the Las Vegas Valley with this storm.
Damages were greatest in the areas in and around Nellis Air Force Base and in Chinatown.
One apartment building was evacuated after a gas line broke.
At least 12 buildings throughout Las Vegas had wind damage.
Power was knocked out to casinos on Fremont Street and parts of The Strip. In addition, heavy rains caused up to two feet of water to flow across parts of The Strip.
Water damage also occurred at 3 strip casinos from the rain, including a portion of the casino floor at Caesars Palace.
Some 33,000 NV Energy customers lost power from this storm.
A total of 243 trees were downed at the Desert Pines Golf Course.
Damages were estimated at 2.5 million from this storm, with most of the damage from wind.

2009: Severe thunderstorm winds struck La Quinta foothills with gusts measuring 61 mph.

2005: The low temperature on this date was 95° F which set the warmest low ever recorded in Las Vegas.
The high temperature of 117° F on this date tied the hottest temperature ever recorded in Las Vegas.
The average temperature for the date was 106° F, which was the hottest day ever recorded in Las Vegas.
The morning low was 95° F and the afternoon high was 117° F.

2003: Flash flooding was observed in and around the town of Pahrump, NV (near Death Valley).
Water was running over SR 160 from SR 372 to Dandelion.
In the town of Pahrump, roads looked like rivers with a dumpster floating in the road blocking traffic. Mud was going through the Post Office and a trailer park. Basin Ave. and State Route 160 were under one foot of water.
Flooding extended half mile on Basin Ave. toward the west.
A gas station, the city park, and a shopping center parking lot were completely flooded.

1987: A rare cold air mass for mid-summer descended on the region starting on 7.18 and ending on 7.21 and broke numerous low temperature records.

1985: Strong thunderstorms produced very heavy rainfall in the mountains and the adjacent desert.
A mudslide at the top of the Palm Springs Tram trapped 150, all but 31 were rescued by helicopter.
The 31 spent the night because the helicopter was grounded due to unsafe winds.
The 15 minute slide was a debris flow carrying huge rocks and timbers.
A thunderstorm plunged a light aircraft to the ground at Mormon Rocks, killing a family of 3.
Flooding was reported "all over" in the Morongo Basin.
A tornado in Needles hit a mobile home park and injured 6.
It leveled 4 mobile homes and damaged 14 others.
1.50" of rain fell in Palomar Mountain, the greatest daily amount on record for July.
2.36" fell in Cuyamaca, flooding Paso Picacho Campground.

1974: A severe thunderstorm with winds up to 80 mph and heavy rain swept through Lake Havasu City, AZ, and completely washed out section 4-5 feet deep in some streets.
Many cars were abandoned during the storm and a number washed away.
3 people were killed and 1 person was injured when their vehicle was carried down a wash by a wall of water estimated to be 10 feet tall.

1970: Mount Hamilton (East Bay) had a high temperature of 92° F.

1960: The overnight low in Death Valley was 102° F.

1960: Thunderstorm winds in the Tehachapis downed utility lines and damaged farm buildings.

1955: Heavy thunderstorms struck desert areas of Twentynine Palms and Barstow.
One cloudburst hit Cherry Valley with 3" of rain in 30 minutes.
A 75 foot stream of water crossed Highway 66 at Hodge, southwest of Barstow.
Washouts were also reported around Twentynine Palms.

1954: A northward moving hurricane made landfall in central Baja California with the remnants moving into Arizona.
Rainfall of up to 2" occurred in the mountains and deserts starting on 7.17 and ending on this day.
This occurred during the El NiƱo of 1953-54.

1931: Carson City, NV, had a high temperature of 107° F, while Reno, NV, recorded a high of 105° F.

Source: NWS San Francisco/Monterey, Hanford, Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, & San Diego

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