By Christian Britschgi | Reason
Some 50 people have died in the fires currently raging in the Golden State, with 48 perishing as a result of the Camp Fire in the northern, mostly rural Butte County, which has also destroyed 7,600 homes. This makes it the deadliest and the most destructive fire in California history.
In response to devastation on this scale, one would expect insurance premiums to shoot up, and for many of the effected residents to move away from fire-prone areas into larger, safer cities. But thanks to California’s funky way of regulating insurance, this is likely not going to happen, says Ray Lehman, an insurance policy expert at the R Street Institute.
“California makes it really difficult for the market to do what it would normally do in these cases, which is when assessments of risk go up, insurance rates go up, and a place becomes less attractive to build there,” Lehman says.