FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – State Farm and Allstate are no longer an option for their homeowner’s policy to those who are in the market for a new home or for their first one, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

The Insurance Information Institute officials said that it’s because of the fallout of massive wildfires that burned over 360,000 acres and destroyed nearly 800 structures in 2022 alone.

“How many policies do we have? How much risk are we facing? Can we pay claims if we have more big wildfires? Or other types of big risks in the state? So it’s the responsible thing to do,” said Janet Ruiz, Director of Strategic Communications for the Insurance Information Institute.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, State Farm held the most homeowners policies in California in 2022, as Allstate finished in fifth.

For now, the companies will honor existing homeowner policies, but prices could be on the rise.

“When we pay for a loss we have to pay for the building costs today or tomorrow. Those rates have gone up, California’s building costs have gone up for sure,” said Ruiz.

For wildfire-risk mountain communities, the options are limited.

Many rely on California’s FAIR plan fire insurance or pay extreme premiums. 

“My buyer went to get his homeowners quote and he was hoping to keep it around $500 a month. It came back to $6800 a year,” said Realtor Jenny Toaste with Realty Concepts. “Whereas most people in the valley expect to pay maybe about $1,200, $1,500,” she said.

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig said the State and the U.S. Forest Service deserve a lot of the blame.

“I think laws need to change when it comes to the Endangered Species Act, when it comes to just environmental review. Right now our forests are a tinderbox, so we need to be in our forests thinning them. We need to be doing more to help people harden their homes,” said Magsig.

Officials want to reiterate that coverage is still available, but they want everyone, especially those in high-risk wildfire areas, to take every precaution necessary to keep themselves and their home safe.