One of the biggest car and home insurers in America will no longer offer new home insurance policies in California, citing the rising risk of wildfires and home construction costs. “The factors driving State Farm’s decision are beyond our control, including climate change,” said Michael Soller at the California Department of Insurance. State Farm joins multinational insurer American International Group in refusing to offer home policies to Californianas as the state has continued to struggle with wildfires over the past several years. California had nearly 7,500 wildfires in 2022, and in the past six years has suffered eight of the largest fires in US history and three of the top five deadliest.
The United Nations recently found that nearly 12,000 disasters were attributable to extreme weather and climate-related events from 1970 to 2021, costing the world over $4 trillion. Experts warn this season’s wildfire risk could be especially acute as the new plant growth driven from this heavy rainfall over the winter could dry up, creating more fuel for fires. (The Guardian, USA Today, Axios, HuffPost, NPR, CNN, ABC News, Washington Post $, Wall Street Journal $: Climate Signals: Wildfires)