Ranch & Coast Magazine

July 2023

Read Ranch & Coast Virtually Anywhere

Issue link: http://ranchandcoast.uberflip.com/i/1502212

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 91

LAUREN BOTTGER: PHOTO BY CHARIE PHOTOGRAPHY When the Good Neighbor Is No Longer Here W HEN NEWS RECENTLY hit that State Farm would no longer write new homeowner's policies in California (fellow insurance giant Allstate followed suit shortly thereafter), it created shockwaves that rattled homeowners and prospective buyers throughout the state. While California was specified in the decision, the move is reflective of the cost of doing business across the country. "I always tell people that when the hurricanes hit in Florida, for example, we are thankful that we're not impacted physically by those types of situations, but we all are going to feel that financially," explains Lauren Bottger, agency owner of Bottger & Associates in Rancho Santa Fe, who says that insurance companies spread those losses across their entire operations. Additionally, Bottger cites a backlog of requests by insurance companies to adjust their base rates to keep up with the rising costs of doing business in California — filings that have been sitting in Sacramento awaiting approval from the California Department of Insurance. "If you think about running a business, and you're paying out all this money to run your business but you're not able to adjust your base rates to run your business profitably, you have to make a change, and that's ultimately what's happening with these insurance companies," says Bottger. It's a significant, not to mention expensive, quandary for California homeowners, but Bottger has a few recommendations. Don't panic. "ere have been times before like this in the industry where companies leave the state for a little while, they figure out their rates, and then they come back," says Bottger, though she predicts any return won't be to the status quo. "I think they're going to need to make some pretty significant changes and if these carriers do come back to California, their underwriting thresholds and guidelines, I expect, will be a lot more strict than we've ever seen before." Shop with caution. Already sky-high insurance rates may tempt you to want to make a change, but Bottger says to "shop with the knowledge that you might already be in the best place." She cautions that in the current environment, making any change can be risky. You may move from a stable insurer with whom you have a history, only to unknowingly switch to the next company that pulls out of the state. Be judicious when activating your policy. Homeowners who make too many claims risk non-renewal or even coverage from a new insurer. "I always encourage people to be really strategic when it comes to making insurance claims," advises Bottger. "For years, I would say, 'Your insurance is intended for catastrophic use, not cosmetic.' And now, even more than ever." Contact the insurance commissioner. Bottger recommends reaching out to Sacramento to demand more viable solutions to spur change. Visit the California Department of Insurance at insurance.ca.gov. DEANNA MURPHY Advice amid the evolving changes in California property insurance Focus business ranchandcoast.com 48 JULY 2023 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE Lauren Bottger

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Ranch & Coast Magazine - July 2023