North County residents in fire zone struggle to find homeowner’s insurance

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VISTA, Calif. -- Residents in North County living in the 'fire zone' are struggling to secure homeowner's insurance.

“I’m an increased risk so they dropped me,” said Lynne Katopodis, a resident of the Buena Creek area of Vista.

She received a letter from Traveler’s Insurance on her birthday.

The letter stated, “We regret to inform you your policy will not be renewed because your home is in an ineligible brush area,” said Lynne.  “It’s fire danger.  Why me?  Why randomly pick me?”

She isn't the only one.

Across the way on Blue Bird Canyon, Lynn Vollgraff also had her homeowner’s insurance dropped.

“Hartford then sent us a letter saying we are not insuring you we’re getting out of California,” said Vollgraff.

Vollgraff was able to find coverage, but at a cost.

“In 2015 it doubled and then this year it’s gone up about $300,” said Lynn “There’s not a lot we can do you know?

Residents said it’s about to get worse as dozens of homes are being built with several developments.  There’s also thousands more homes proposed with the Newland Sierra development.

“If I can’t get affordable insurance on my house why are we building other homes out here for people who are going to move out here and not going to be able to afford the insurance,” said Katopodis.

As far as dropping coverage, Traveler’s Insurance released this statement:

“Retention is always our goal, but it’s balanced with thoughtful and disciplined underwriting. We routinely evaluate our risk exposure and make adjustments as necessary.”

Numerous insurers are available to wrote homeowners insurance in the area, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The agency suggests to shop and compare.

“So Traveler’s dropped us, Hardford’s dropped us, AIG will not cover us,” said Katopodis. “They all say we’re sorry we can cover you.”

Any coverage she’s able to find, comes at a much greater cost.

“Just under double from 2100 to 3800 that’s all because of fire danger,” said Katopodis.

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