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Homeowners See Insurance Rates Increase By Thousands In Wildfire-Prone Areas

PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — People across the state are finding it increasingly more difficult to insure their homes.

Placer County supervisors said those who live in areas at risk of wildfire are seeing insurance rates increase by thousands of dollars. Supervisors want the state to do more to stop private companies from charging these prices.

Last year Pat Albright lost her husband and the home insurance she had more 40 years, at the same time.

"I was shocked, absolutely shocked they weren't going to renew us after all those years," she said.

Albright was forced to look elsewhere and found coverage through a company called Lloyds of London. But she said she just received notice that next month her rate will increase by more than $2,000 a year.

"What irritates me is it's not our fault. It's PG&E, they're causing the fires and now were getting punished for it," Albright said.

READ ALSO: Three People Accused Of Stealing From Recently Deceased Person's Home In Placer County

Albright is handicapped and on a fixed income. She said she could lose the care worker she hired for help.

"I would have to cut her hours and if not get rid of her because I couldn't afford to pay both," she said.

Albright is not alone. Placer County supervisors are collecting data on rate increases from people all over the county. They told CBS13 one homeowner near Auburn saw their rate nearly triple, from $1,739 to $4,400 a year.

"We don't have any authority to control that but we have a voice," said Placer County Supervisor Jim Holmes.

CBS13 took these concerns straight to the Department of Insurance, asking them if they could do anything to change this problem or pressure insurance companies to lower rates.

"If an insurer can prove their rate increase is warranted, we're obliged to approve," said Joel Laucher, senior advisor with the California Department of Insurance.

READ: Covered California Individual Insurance Rates To Increase 0.8%

Placer County supervisors think insurance companies should be required to give more consideration to fire mitigation efforts.

"Some homeowners have done everything they need to do. they have defensible space, they've taken trees down they don't have any limbs over their home," Holmes said.

Albright hires people to clear her yard in hopes of getting a better insurance rate. But the uncertainty remains.

"I know the insurances want their profits and that's basically what its all about," she said.

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