Insurance Companies Try to Cut Losses in Wildfire Hotspots

By  | 

Santa Ana, Calif. (AP) The nation's top insurers are inspecting homes in wildfire areas across the west – and threatening to cancel coverage if owners don't clear brush or take other precautions.

Homeowners and watchdog groups accuse the companies of trying to cut risk at the expense of customers, even while industry profits soar.

Insurers counter that making people take responsibility for living in the highest-risk fire areas makes good business sense.

Catastrophic fires caused some six billion dollars in insured losses between 1986 and 2005.

Since last year, Allstate has been checking new applicants for policies in danger zones in states like Colorado. A company spokeswoman says that next year, Allstate will begin inspecting Colorado homes due for policy renewals.