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'Very scary, very frustrating': Portola Valley homeowners face nonrenewal of homeowners insurance

Original post made on Aug 25, 2021

With all eyes on wildfire risk in California, especially in wildand-urban interfaces, residents like those in Portola Valley are seeing their homeowners insurance plan options disappear or rates go up.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 11:27 AM

Comments (6)

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 25, 2021 at 3:14 pm

CyberVoter is a registered user.

This Wildfire insurance issue raises two questions:
1) Why isn't CA taking a much more proactive approach to Wildfires
- Taxpayers are spending $ Billions on studies, reports, small projects & bureaucracy
- Instead we should be active managing the forests (tinder elimination, controlled burns, etc.) & pre-positioned equipment
- The Governor & CAFIRE say the right words & accomplish little to solve the problem
2) Who should pay to subsidize the true cost of the Wildfire insurance in fire prone areas?
- The other CA taxpayers who live elsewhere?
- Those who live in the Wildfire prone areas?

In any case, we need real action now that can make a change now. Stop blaming the immediate problem on Climate Change & solve the problem now.


Posted by Kevin
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 25, 2021 at 3:32 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

I totally feel for folks affected by the changing fire, flood and quake maps, plus the knock-on effects on home insurance. At the same time, I know that a changing climate is going to force us to adapt to the inevitable nature-imposed changes.




Posted by Stan
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Aug 25, 2021 at 3:33 pm

Stan is a registered user.

Seems like Nationwide is at the heart of many of these cancellations. I got the same cancellation from them in May. Got renewed through from State Farm.
In the process the Nationwide rep tried to set me up with a very expensive covered very little plan through Scottsdale. In reading some of the paper work discovered that Scottsdale is a part of Nationwide. Talk about questionable ethics!!!!!
The same excuse of not wanting to insure anything over $1.5 mill was put forth not fire risk. Lets just say we might be better off with Nationwide NOT! being on our side


Posted by Ulrich Aldag
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Aug 25, 2021 at 5:01 pm

Ulrich Aldag is a registered user.

Mayor Derwin’s “heartbreaking” concerns that Portola Valley will be “destined to become an even more exclusive enclave for the rich” reveal a socialist agenda rather than addressing the fact that Portola Valley has to get its act together to increase its wildfire resistance.
She has been personally pushing additional housing development (ADU’s and the Wedge Project) as if this has nothing to do with an increased fire hazard for the town. Her Town Council has no dependable concept for an evacuation, and no concept how fire load in critical areas of the town shall be removed. Important planning for a wildfire event is long overdue. The insurance problems are only the tip of an iceberg of issues that should have been addressed with high priority by the Town Council. It’s still time but maybe it’s also time for a new mayor.


Posted by Time for a RECALL?
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Aug 25, 2021 at 6:27 pm

Time for a RECALL? is a registered user.

Question—can we recall our town representatives? The Stanford wedge project is moving forward, yet little is being done in regards to fire safety. Might be time to think about the best options


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 27, 2021 at 11:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Property owners in wildland areas owe it to themselves, their insurance companies and, most importantly, to the firefighters who risk their lives protecting our homes to remove ALL ground cover and ALL ladder fuels, to have accessible driveways with space for fire engine turnarounds and Knox Box access to structures so that firefighters can shelter in place if there is a blow up.

I see very little of that level of preparation in Portola Valley.

If you don’t have a defendable property do not expect firefighters to risk their lives in a futile attempt to save your home.

former USFS Redding Smokejumper


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