|By Ryan Maye Handy; [email protected]|
Natural disasters, be they hail storms or wildfires, are changing the insurance landscape in
Homeowners are likely to feel the affects of the 2012 wildfire and storm season in the years ahead, just as they now are seeing the impact of past disasters, insurance officials say.
Miles from the
"Maybe it's perfectly legal for what they have written in the fine print in the contract," Meeker said in early February, days before his insurance was set to expire. "All the companies from
Like Meeker, homeowners across
As Meeker grapples with his neighborhood's new status as a "fire hazard" zone, other
"Even from the Hayman fire 10 years ago back in 2002, insurance companies started to examine wildfire risk, and seeing whether they could take it on," she said. "Insurance companies -- the trend over the past 10 years -- have been getting stricter about what properties they insure."
Whether or not homeowners like Meeker do wildfire mitigation is now a large concern for companies when people buy insurance, Walker said.
"If somebody bought it (homeowners insurance) 10 or 15 years ago, nobody would have asked that question," she added.
During the 21 years that Meeker has lived outside of Monument, he said he has never filed an insurance claim; in the six or seven years that he has been insured by American National, he has never had any damage to his house.
But following the