Industry News

Homeowners’ insurance complaints spike in California

'Disturbing' report stems from handling of wildfire claims

A new report released today by California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi revealed that survivors of the Southern California wildfires who suffered total losses have filed formal complaints with the Department at a rate 22 times higher than the normal rate of complaints. A study of complaints for this report found that of the 2,734 "total-loss" claims filed with insurers following the fires, 22 percent – or 676 – generated complaints over the handling of the claim by the insurer. Typically, the Department receives complaints from about 1 percent of all claims in most lines of insurance. The report was completed after a survey of the top 76 insurers in the state, representing 95 percent of the homeowners insurance market in Southern California. While some of the disparity in the wildfire complaint numbers as compared to normal claims may be attributable to the high profile nature of the wildfires, Commissioner Garamendi said that the numbers indicate that the syste...