AAA insurance drops San Marcos couple due to fire concerns

Insurance premiums for fire protection are skyrocketing, and in some cases, policies are being canceled.

SAN DIEGO — Protecting your home with fire insurance is getting more expensive for San Diegans in this already-challenging economy.   

Insurance premiums for fire protection are skyrocketing, and in some cases, policies are being canceled.   

CBS 8 is working for one couple in San Marcos who have been told their homeowner’s insurance is being terminated. 

“They sent us a notice of non-renewal and termination,” said Susan Moise. 

She and her husband Walter couldn’t believe it. After 27 years with AAA home insurance, they received a notice in the mail telling them they’re dropped. 

“I’m kind of in a quandary,” said Susan. “I’m not sure what to do or where to go.” 

The non-renewal notice claims that their home is, “located in an area that we consider a high brush fire exposure which is unacceptable according to the Exchange’s underwriting guidelines.”   

Their policy expires July 2, 2022, and so far, they’re not having much luck finding other coverage. 

“That’s where I’m at trying to find someone who will insure us,” said Susan. 

And that’s been tough.   

One company told them in an email:  

“We don’t cover homes in proximity to wildfire risk areas.”   

The only company that would cover them is Assurant, and their quoted premium is more than triple what they’re paying now. 

“Because I’m on fixed income, having a big jump like that, it makes it difficult,” said Susan. “Am I going to be priced out of my home?” 

They don’t understand why AAA is dropping them after all these years. 

“We have a fire hydrant right across the street,” said Walter. 

“We’re within a mile of two fire stations,” said Susan. 

And they just replaced their roof with fire-resistant materials. 

“This is the latest materials that they offer in California,” said Walter. “So, this is fire safe.” 

To pay for the new roof and solar panels, they refinanced their home mortgage in March. 

“We tried to be proactive and do the best for our home, and in doing that we refinanced and I think that may have been the trigger for AAA to say, ‘No,’” said Susan. 

To make matters worse, Susan is dealing with serious health issues. 

“I’m struggling now with metastatic cancer and trying to fight that disease and that incurs different bills,” said Susan. “So, it’s just a struggle to survive.” 

CBS 8 called the AAA agent they’d been working with and left him a message saying, we had some questions.   

So far, he hasn’t called us back. Meanwhile, Susan’s facing the possibility of leaving California. 

“Our family is here, our grandchildren are here,” said Susan. “I grew up in San Diego. I’m a native San Diegan and to have to leave my home, I would miss the ocean.” 

Their next step is to explore what the California Fair Plan has to offer, but after talking with neighbors, they’re not hopeful it will be an affordable option either. 

WATCH RELATED: Fire insurance rates on the rise for San Diego County residents (October 2021)