California Vets – VA releases circular for special relief for California wildfires

Vets go to to get info for fire relief.

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California – How will the fires affect insurance rates?

This year’s wildfire fire disasters, including the Lilac fire, could change insurance policies in California. Insurers are likely to take a massive hit as 2017 is now the worst wildfire season in the state’s modern history. Here’s what you need to know:

Insurance rates could slightly go up with all these wildfires

Homeowner insurance rates could go up in fire-prone areas, but state laws will likely hold back any dramatic increases.

Regulators like the California Department of Insurance are quick to say that rates are based on 20-year averages, so one year is not going to make a significant difference. By California law, insurance companies can’t increase rates without government approval and the state can reject increases it deems excessive.

But, Cathy Seifert, equity analyst at CFRA Research, said insurers will still ask the state to allow them to charge more because of the severity of recent wildfires.

“These losses are likely to review their risk assessment and how much exposure they want to these areas,” she said.

However, California’s Proposition 103 gives state regulators tools to prevent major increases. Since 2011, the department has rejected nearly $2.6 billion in requested premium increases by insurers.

Also, the proposition calls for “catastrophe loading” by insurance companies where large losses are spread out over a 20-year period.

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FHA won’t insure new mortgages with PACE loans

The Federal Housing Administration will stop insuring new mortgages on homes with PACE loans, a type of financing used to fund energy-efficient home improvements.

The announcement Thursday followed criticism from consumer groups that too many borrowers have taken out unaffordable loans for solar panels and other projects after contractors misrepresented how the financing works.

In announcing the policy change, the FHA said PACE loans lack sufficient consumer protection. When a borrower with an FHA-backed mortgage is foreclosed upon, the portion of the PACE loan in arrears must be paid off first.

The remaining PACE loan transfers to the new buyer, but the FHA said that increases the likelihood the buyer will pay less, making it more difficult for the agency to meet its obligations.

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