Officials in the state have said that this particular phase-out has been planned for a long time.
CSE Insurance Group has announced that it stopped writing home policies in California as of October 9, becoming the sixth insurance company in the state to make this move.
The insurer simultaneously announced that it intended to cease auto policy renewals in California.
This has added yet another insurance company to a growing list of insurers that have decided that they either want to stop doing business in the state or have chosen not to expand on the business they already have in California. Most insurers did so quite quietly, though they have been making a rising number of headlines as the state finds its options for coverage shrinking.
CSE issued a message to agents that as of last week, it wouldn’t be providing quotes for policies in California. The insurer also announced that auto policyholders would be receiving notices that their coverage will not be renewed if it expires on November 17th or later. All other policies with expiries of January 1, 2024 and afterward will not be renewed.
Many agents were surprised at the short amount of notice the insurance company gave them.
“It was very short notice,” said Sonoma Valley Insurance Agency agent Elissa Wadleigh. The Santa Rosa agent said that she received the message from Marcus Linden, CSE’s CEO, on October 6, only three days before the changes were to go into effect – the Friday before the Monday when the move would be made.
The insurance company specified in its notice that it would provide brokerages with support in working with policyholders to find new coverage. According to Wadleigh, her brokerage has been working proactively by calling customers to help them to understand their alternatives, but at the same time, it is proving to be expensive.
“People who are getting (policies) renewed are seeing significant increases (in premiums),” explained Wadleigh. “They are lucky to have insurance at all, at this point.”
That said, as short as the notice from the insurance company was, according to the California Department of Insurance, the move from the small insurer isn’t an indicator that recent strategies to hold onto the state’s insurers are failing.
“CSE informed the Department last year of plans to leave the market while providing a soft landing for policyholders with a comparable policy,” said department spokesperson Michael Soller in a recent email to the media. “We are working on the rate filings that will help transition policyholders with as little disruption as possible.”