Homeowners alarmed when fire insurance is not renewed following wildfires

Homeowners can get help if they lose...

Peyton Place star Tim O'Connor is putting a famous face on a problem that occurs after wildfires burn near communities.

The star of film and TV told KOVR-TV in Sacramento his fire insurance for his home and property south of Tahoe was not being renewed.

"They just dropped me, and because we were in such a forested area, and so susceptible to these forest fires," said O'Connor.

Janet Ruiz of the Insurance Information Institute said insurers can deny or drop coverage even if you have defensible space.

O'Connor,89, has that and more, including sprinklers and a well.

Ruiz said it is important people buying homes check out insurance policies in the area.

Nancy Kincaid, a spokesperson for the California Department of Insurance, said homeowners may file complaints with her department's hotline or sign up for basic coverage offered by the California Fair Plan.

Broker Tom Caesar is the Senior Vice President of Hub Insurance in Santa Barbara.

Csesar said the California Fair Plan, " virtually guarantees access, even if the fire came through last night you can establish coverage."

He also recommends calling an insurance broker to find competitive alternatives.

"You can make phone calls to people like me that have enough experience to know whether it's a restricted area," said Caesar.
If it is hard to get insurance coverage he said pick up the phone.

Homeowners should also double check the insurance they already have.

"Every year or two check to verify the limit is sufficient to rebuild the property," said Caesar.

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