As the New Year begins, many Americans are left with the daunting prospect of finding a way to insure their homes in 2020. Homeowners insurance is a landscape that has dramatically changed, both physically and figuratively, in the wake of another year of devastating wildfires. While 2019 figures are still being counted, fires in 2018 destroyed 24,000 homes in California alone, and over the past decade and a half, more than 27 million people were threatened by a wildfire within miles from their home.
The immediate threat of wildfire to the lives of its victims is always the most pressing news—and the most direct and obvious concern. But for those who survive, yet lose their homes, the pain lingers for years, rehashed by the trials of relocating or rebuilding a life from only the literal ashes that remain.
The most tragic of the survival stories is the discovery that insurance will cover only part, or in some cases, none of the costs of rebuilding.
The tragedy extends even further as insurance companies plan for the reality of their own losses, like those in Northern California forced into bankruptcy by the obligations created by wildfire.
The reshaping of the insurance market has now pushed coverage and premiums into new territory, where insurance providers, reinsurance purchasers, and underwriters are also protecting their own survival. By necessity, this means raising premiums on, or outright declining to offer wildfire coverage for homeowners. By leaving homeowners unprotected, uncertainty and doubt forces stress on communities, and drives out business and families seeking economic safety.
The initial damage of wildfire is always devastating and headlines the news when it happens. But the extended impact of these disasters in the aftermath is often unmentioned, and frequently even more costly than the fire itself. It is imperative that we continue to support the victims and responders well after the blaze is extinguished. Caylym, like so many other companies, is eager to help and will continue to support these communities and their recovery, be it physical, emotional, or economic.
 Communities Threatened by Wildfire, 2000-2017: Sortable Table | Headwaters Economics | https://headwaterseconomics.org/wildfire/homes-risk/communities-wildfire-threat-table/
 Insurance company goes under after California's most destructive wildfire | CNN | https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/04/us/camp-fire-insurance-company-liquidation/index.html
 O.C. Homeowners in High Fire Hazard Areas Seek Insurance Options | Voice Of OC | https://voiceofoc.org/2019/12/o-c-homeowners-in-high-fire-hazard-areas-seek-insurance-options/