In California, homeowners seeking insurance coverage are facing significant delays with the FAIR Plan, the state’s insurer of last resort. This situation is causing distress among potential homebuyers and current homeowners, as reported by CBS Sacramento and ABC7 San Francisco.
The FAIR Plan, often the only option for those in high-risk areas, especially for wildfire coverage, has become a critical resource. However, recent changes to its software system have led to a backlog in processing applications and long wait times for customer service.
Rene Swierad, working with insurance agents across California, highlighted the challenges, including system glitches and extended wait times to speak with a FAIR Plan representative. Real estate broker Jacqueline Garrens noted that these delays are preventing some from closing on homes, with applications pending for weeks without response.
The FAIR Plan Association acknowledged the difficulties during the transition to the new Duck Creek portal. They are extending customer service hours and working to resolve technical issues with their phone system.
Amy Bach, founder of United Policyholders, revealed that the FAIR Plan is receiving about a thousand applications daily. The new system’s teething problems have led to a surge in panicked communications from homeowners and agents.
Insurance broker Karl Susman from Los Angeles shared the practical impact of these delays, with his office dedicating staff to remain on hold with the FAIR Plan due to extended wait times. He mentioned that it’s taking up to three weeks to get a quote, complicating matters for those in the process of buying homes.
In light of these challenges, Susman also shared some positive news: the FAIR Plan is offering payment plans, which could ease the financial burden for some homeowners.
The situation underscores the importance of not treating homeowner’s insurance as an afterthought, especially in a state prone to natural disasters like wildfires. As the FAIR Plan works through its system overhaul, Californians are left navigating these delays, hoping for a swift resolution to secure their homes and futures.