Farmers, California’s Second-Largest Insurer, Limits New Home Insurance Policies

Learn why Farmers Insurance is limiting new home insurance policies in California and the factors behind this decision.
Homeowners in California have been facing a challenging situation as insurance companies struggle to keep up with the demand for new home insurance policies. Farmers Insurance, the state’s second-largest insurer, has recently announced that it will be limiting the number of new policies it writes each month. This decision comes after a surge in demand in May when Farmers saw an influx of homeowners seeking coverage.

The Changing Landscape of Home Insurance in California

California has experienced a series of market changes and challenges that have prompted insurance companies to reassess their policies. State Farm, the largest insurer in the state, announced in May that it would temporarily halt writing new homeowners policies while continuing to renew existing ones. Allstate, the sixth-largest insurer, made a similar decision late last year.

Farmers Insurance, based in Los Angeles, has now followed suit by capping the number of new policies it writes in California each month. This move aims to maintain a level consistent with their projected monthly volume before the recent market changes. While Farmers is limiting new policies, it will continue to renew its existing policies, ensuring ongoing coverage for its customers.

Factors Influencing Farmers Insurance’s Decision

Farmers Insurance has cited several factors contributing to its decision to limit new policies. The company points to record-breaking inflation, severe weather events, and rising reconstruction costs as key reasons for this move. The rising costs of construction and labor have made it more expensive for insurers to repair or rebuild homes. Additionally, California has experienced significant flood and fire events in recent years, leading to substantial losses for home insurers.

Another crucial factor driving Farmers’ decision is the insurance principle of risk diversification. Insurers prefer to spread their risk across a wide area to avoid being solely responsible for damages in the event of a disaster. By not insuring every house in the state, companies like Farmers can mitigate their exposure and manage their liabilities effectively.

The Role of California’s Insurance Department

Insurance industry advocates have voiced concerns regarding California’s insurance department and its response to the changing landscape. They argue that the department, led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, has been slow to approve necessary rate increases to keep pace with inflation and growing risks. Furthermore, insurers would like to incorporate forward-looking fire risk models and pass along reinsurance costs when setting premium prices.

In response, the insurance department has encouraged companies to submit comprehensive rate increase requests instead of piecemeal adjustments over time. The department also plans to host a workshop to discuss the use of forward-looking wildfire models for rate-setting purposes.


Farmers Insurance, California’s second-largest insurer, has decided to limit the number of new home insurance policies it writes each month. This move aligns with the recent market changes and challenges faced by insurance companies in the state. Factors such as inflation, severe weather events, rising reconstruction costs, and the need for risk diversification have influenced this decision. As homeowners continue to seek coverage, the insurance industry, along with regulatory bodies, must find effective solutions to ensure comprehensive and affordable insurance options for Californians.


How will Farmers Insurance’s decision impact homeowners in California?

Farmers’ decision to limit new policies may make it more challenging for homeowners in California to secure home insurance coverage. They may need to explore alternative insurance providers or wait until Farmers lifts its restrictions.

Will Farmers Insurance continue to renew existing policies?

Yes, Farmers Insurance will continue to renew its existing poli

Why are insurance companies hesitant to write new policies in California?

Insurance companies face challenges such as record-breaking inflation, severe weather events, rising reconstruction costs, and the need for risk diversification. These factors have led them to reassess their policies and limit the number of new policies they write.

What is the role of California’s insurance department in this situation?

California’s insurance department plays a regulatory role in approving rate increases and facilitating discussions on forward-looking fire risk models. The department aims to strike a balance between protecting consumers and ensuring the financial stability of insurance providers.

What can homeowners do if they are unable to secure home insurance from Farmers?

Homeowners who cannot obtain home insurance from Farmers Insurance may consider reaching out to other insurance providers in California to explore their options. It’s advisable to consult with insurance agents or brokers who can help navigate the market and find suitable coverage.

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