To make a long story short, we have some decisions to make as a result of the Camp Fire in Paradise, California. We are looking to purchase a home elsewhere, still in the higher-risk area of the state, instead of rebuilding in Paradise. This would be a second home for us, so we are not among the many unfortunate ones who are needing to rebuild their main home or relocate their family. We found a candidate property for sale elsewhere, and contacted USAA for a homeowner's insurance quote. USAA will not issue a policy, and inquiring around extensively there is no company willing to insure this property. A local agent would like to help us but is backlogged helping existing clients and others who are in escrow, for whom the need is more urgent. I fully understand the reasoning and respect USAA's underwriting process. But I am not kidding, many Californians do not live in the city or suburbs and there are millions of people in this predicament. I am thankful we have cash and don't need to have insurance for mortage purposes for our primary home in this instance. I fully understand the risk is much higher and that insurance may cost $2,000, $3,000 or more annually. But the only option in many areas seems to be the last-resort option under the California FAIR plan, which for our propspective purchase would be minimum of $7,600 annually with no expectation that it won't increase later. That put the kibosh on this home for us. The area of interest for us is not even the higher-risk parts of the mountains, has only moderate forest cover, and a fire station within a mile. We know of another family staying in Paradise, with a fire hydrant on their property and a fire station across the street, and their premium from another company is about $4,000 annually. Again, please understand that just like hurricanes in the southeast and tornadoes in the midwest my insurance rates will be adjusted upward according the relative risk. But what are other USAA members out there doing? We want to have a home in a smaller community out of the city and now can afford to do so, except for the insurance. Are you going to risk it and have no insurance at all? Why is just California in the spotlight; what about all the fires each year in Oregon and Colorado and Idaho?
I see that we received your previous posts on Facebook and escalated your concerns to our Advocacy Team. I will forward your additional post to them for review. Thanks- Mike