Chico, CA — As many as 3 million Californians live in what is called the wildland-urban interface, or WUI. The WUI is a transition zone between unoccupied land and human development.
Recently, home owners in these areas have received notices from their insurance companies stating that they will no longer be covered due to increased fire danger. Not only will they not be covered, but most insurance companies are pulling out all-together from designated zip codes.
This has led to a crisis for many homeowners, whose mortgages require them to carry fire insurance. As complaints poured in to state agencies, many insurance companies have taken a page from the President Trump play book and gone on the attack.
“Well clearly these towns should have never existed in these fire-prone areas to begin with,” said Allstate insurance communications officer Bethany Millbright reading from a prepared statement. “What’s next? Earthquake coverage in earthquake zones? Flood insurance for areas that have water? We’re in the business of making money, not insuring people.”
Other companies have offered similar, yet toned-down responses.
“Although we understand this is a trying time for many of our customers, we recommend they seek coverage from other companies as AAA will no longer be servicing anyone anywhere,” said an unidentified AAA insurance company spokesperson who wished to remain anonymous for fear of attacks. “In fact, we’re getting out of the insurance business completely, and transitioning to the high-growth area of drive-thru coffee.”
What Is the Government Telling Homeowners?
According to California’s Insurance Commission, homeowners who’ve lose their insurance in WUI areas have a few choices:
- Pay as much as 5-10 times more for insurance, if you can find it.
- Opt for California’s ‘Fair Plan’ which is the State’s expensive last resort insurance plan, but only covers your outstanding mortgage.
- Write furiously in their feelings journal about how unfair everything is like a 14-year-old girl
- Start a drinking habit
- And lastly, wait for their homes to be foreclosed on due to their insurance being more expensive than their mortgages
Communities Fight Back
In response to most of the insurance companies pulling out of California, many smaller communities are banding together for form what are now being called “Fuck You Cooperatives” or FYCs to provide community-based insurance. The premiums tend to be higher and have more risk, but provide homeowners in the WUIs a sense of well-needed pride in telling corporate America to go fuck themselves.
“It’s not that much different than medical insurance,” said long-time Chico resident and local FYC founder Daley Adams. “We play this game that the insurance companies add value to the economy. Well they don’t. They spend a lot of time telling us on TV how much their care about their customers, but at the sign of any risk, they run away like cowards.”
Radical Environmentalists Are Pleased
Several environmental organizations have quietly celebrated both the recent wildfires that have taken both life and property, but also are happy about the mass exodus of insurance companies.
“Look, I’m not going to lie,” said founder of the Grass Valley, CA-based John Muir Nature Institute, Brad F. Shyster. “What we need are more frequent and hotter fires. Hot enough to burn right down to the bedrock. Also, it’s about time we kick people out of the interface [the WUI], and if it takes insurance companies to make that happen, that’s something we support. These areas need bark beetles and owls, not people.”
Community leaders have been helpless to stave off the insurance crisis and have appealed to Sacramento for help. So far, the California government seems preoccupied with high-speed trains and a handsome new Governor.
This story will be updated when there are new developments, which means probably never.