Californians burned by insurance companies

MOUNTAIN RANCH, Calif. -- California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says more people may be dropped from fire coverage and that residents of high risk areas may have to shop for more expensive insurance as wildfires become more destructive because of the drought.

Jones tells KCRA-TV the law allows insurance companies to not renew policies.

"There are currently no laws in California that prohibit an insurer from non-renewing a homeowner's insurance policy, California law does provide consumers with specific rights in the event of a non-renewal," The California Department of Insurance Website states.

He says California's drought is a game changer and that insurance companies are taking steps to protect themselves.

Jones talked to KCRA-TV on Monday while meeting with fire victims and volunteers in Calaveras County, where a wildfire destroyed 475 homes. The blaze was 95 percent contained Monday night.

KCRA-TV reports some Northern California residents have received non-renewal letters from their fire insurance companies even if their homes are nowhere near the two destructive fires.

Jones says this is can be an opportunity to shop around for insurance, including the sometimes more expensive secondary markets.