East County homeowners are struggling to find or maintain fire insurance as insurance companies are either raising rates or dropping customers.
“We choose to live out there because we like the country, it’s beautiful,” said Marion Roberts, an Alpine homeowner.
But after 30 years of living in Alpine she said now she must move out.
“I’m a retired person, I have now put my house on the market because I really can’t afford over $6,000 a year for fire insurance,” she explained.
Roberts said she pays more than $6,000 annually for two policies that keep increasing, one private insurance company and the state offered California FAIR Plan Association.
“California FAIR Plan only covers one of the things I have,” she said. “I have a separate policy for the other.”
Roberts said despite her efforts of clearing her property from weeds and installing water tanks her rates continue to drastically rise.
“Who is listening? If the state is going to raise it to $1,400?,” she asks.
Roberts is among the lucky ones however, some of her neighbors have been dropped from their insurance altogether.
“I think we have as much right to have reasonable insurance as anyone else,” said Roberts.
Some companies are no longer offering new policies in high-risk fire areas.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection recently found 1 in 4 Californians live in areas considered to be a high risk of a wildfire.
“I wish somebody would listen to us, I really do,” she said.
Mortgages require insurance, so someone can lose their home if they cannot be insured.