Wildfire risk is pushing up New Mexico insurance rates [The Santa Fe New Mexican]

Wildfire risk is pushing up New Mexico insurance rates [The Santa Fe New Mexican]

July 25—All the smoke and fire increase every year New Mexico have the 13th highest home insurance rates in the world, a new study by QuoteWizard shows.

The other 12 have entered Tornado Alley or the main part of the storm.

“It’s directly related to wildfires [in New Mexico],” he said Nick VinZantsenior analyst at QuoteWizard, an online insurance comparison platform.

Everything was the most expensive anywhere last year – except for home insurance. Some places deal with “very expensive” home insurance, such as New Mexicobut QuoteWizard determined that 17 countries have lower insurance rates in 2022 than in 2021.

“Home insurance has become a reality,” VinZant said.

The best home insurance rates are right around the corner Oklahoma and Texas it’s close Kansas and Nebraskaboth almost more $3,000 a year. QuoteWizard approx New Mexico to $2,071 for 2022, an increase of 13 percent over 2021 – the fifth largest increase behind Idaho, South Carolina, Missouri and Kansas.

VinZant got it again New Mexico had the eighth largest spread among the cheapest points $1,600 and very expensive $3,100 for a specific policy.

“We’re seeing an increase in similar prices,” VinZant said. “It pays for every purchase.”

jerry gomez He didn’t think he would waste time on this kind of thing. But this was before Hermits Peak / Cow Canyon Fire destroyed his 2,400-square-foot house that he built 20 years ago Smoke20 miles north of Las Vegas, NM

Gomez paid $3,300 about $250,000 about publishing.

Gomez is now building a small 720-square-foot house to support her until she can build a bigger house. He expects a full rebuild to be more expensive $550,000.

“I can’t get what I lost because I don’t have the money to pay it back,” Gomez said. “Most of the time we don’t pay attention, I don’t know half of these things, it’s one of these things. I blame myself. If the government comes to help us, I think we will go. be better.”

The Hermits Peak / Cow Canyon Fire it was a continuation of decades of devastating fires New Mexico. VinZant said New Mexico have seen a 163 percent increase in natural disasters in the last 20 years with 10 incidents of $1 billion-including wildfire losses over the past 40 years.

“Now New Mexico it’s starting to increase faster than other states,” VanZint said.

And the increase is happening even in areas that are not exposed to forests.

Bertha Salazar has seen his annual home insurance premiums rise from $1,085 to $1,300 in the past three years as the price of his two-story, three-bedroom, two-bedroom, 2,059-square-foot house Santa Fe arose from $229,000 to $465,000.

He remembers six years ago his home insurance was on its own $700 A year ago, but he didn’t realize he had less insurance $150,000 process.

“At the time, the insurance company didn’t explain to me that I had to have adequate insurance,” Salazar said.

But experts say wildfires are a big part of home insurance, especially in the Santa Fe.

CoreLogic in 2019 was there Santa Fe ranked 12th among the Top 15 major cities at risk of wildfires in terms of reconstruction costs. 8 of the top nine made it California and Denver; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and San Antonio, Texasonly the cities before him Santa Fe.

Bozeman, Mont.,-from Headwaters Economics in a July report on tree canopies in wildfire prone areas concluded that City of Santa Fe County the risk of wildfire is greater than 90 percent of US sections. But Santa Fe County and Northern New Mexico counties did not make a list of non-profits with a moderate risk of wildfires with high roofs like San Juan, GrantMiss Ana, Such and Chaves sections.

A casual observer might think that wildfires are confined to the lower reaches – and, in fact, they are Santa Fe Fire Department they rate them as the most dangerous and dangerous for wildfires, in part because they usually have only one entrance and one exit for vehicles and firefighters. Urban areas don’t get tested but are at risk, too, with arroyos and undeveloped areas flooded with flammable vegetation, he said. Nathan MillerWildland Superintendent at Santa Fe Fire Department.

“The whole city of Santa Fe it’s a wild urban landscape,” Miller said. “All citizens of Santa Fe we have to be alert to wildfires.”

Being vigilant means removing vegetation within 30 feet of the house, keeping bushes and trees trimmed “and keeping everything from going into the house,” Miller said.

The December 30, 2021, Marshall Fire in Colorado it was a frightening proof that people should not live in the forest or on the side of the mountains to burn quickly. Boulder villages Louisville and Superior and cities growing in the grass. Less than 24 hours later, a devastating fire Colorado It has reportedly damaged or destroyed more than 1,000 homes and more than 30 commercial buildings there.

“You can’t buy a price plan New Mexico,” he said Carol Walkerthe director of the organization Rocky Mountain Insurance Association. “You can buy a replacement cost plan.”

Construction costs have increased by about 17 percent last year and about 26 percent the year before, according to Associated General Contractors of America. The US Census Bureau report an increase of about 50 percent in construction costs since 2016 from approx $1.2 billion to $1.8 billion.

Wildfires aren’t the only ones that break down homes New MexicoWalker said.

New Mexico and snow that tends to snow.

Home insurance is not regulated by the government like health insurance.

“It’s a competitive market,” he said Jennifer CatechesisDeputy Superintendent of New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance, a government agency. “We don’t set their prices. We can ask with the insurers to make sure that they respect the policy correctly. I act as an intermediary between the insurer and the insured.”

The agency’s dealings with home insurance companies are based on consumer complaints submitted to the office.

“There hasn’t been a big rise [in complaints],” said Catech.

What has been there is a refusal to spread in the hilly areas. But Catechis and Walker insist that transmission is everywhere Santa Fe.

New Mexico they are not in the same boat California still,” Walker said New Mexico. Wildfire mitigation requirements may apply to get insurance. You can buy it. You will probably pay more.”

“Someone didn’t buy it,” Catechis said of the decision not to get insurance Santa Fe. “An insurance company can write a policy. Consumers can try to shop around. See if another insurance company will pay for them. If they can’t find coverage, they can turn to New Mexico [Fair Access to Insurance Program]. Warning and FAIR will not write a policy $250,000.”

FAIR was established by the Legislature in 1969 to provide property insurance to property owners who cannot obtain policy in the normal market. FAIR is underwritten by the New Mexico Property Insurance Program.

Home insurance can come with “sticker shock,” but Walker tries to invest in an investment plan.

“Insurance is not a big part of buying a home,” he said.


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