This article here talks about how they are predicting that the Southern California fires going on right now are 'on track to become one of the most expensive fire events in U.S. history.' Insured damages are estimated to be at least $500 million. The report goes on to catalog all of the fires that California has had in the past, including 8 of the most expensive fires in the country.
My favorite part of the article states 'this is California. We are not strangers to these kinds of tragedies.' That means that Californians are used to environmental conditions that are dangerous, not only to their physical self but to their pocketbooks.
Insurance companies in California will continue to raise the price of policies issued in that state, especially the areas that have been locally effected since it seems to keep happening in the same place (not if but when).
But there is no way that individual policy holders in these affected areas can compensate the insurance companies monetarily for the insurance claims that are pouring in. Luckily, my insurance company is not listed as having policies with claims in that area. If they did, I would expect an increase in rates for my personal policy to offset the difference, even though I live nowhere near the affected area, nor do I plan to.
My point is this. Why does the collective have to pay for the poor mistakes of the few? If you decide to move to California, and it is a matter of when you will have an insurable claim, why not charge these people out the nose for living in such a hazardous environment? Is it because a private insurance program instituted locally would go bankrupt after the first major incident? This would discourage insurance companies from offering policies in that area and homeowners would go uninsured. Is it important enough to our society that we have people live in known hazard zones that we are all willing to fit part of the bill? Is that economically efficient?
I see that the government has stepped in and declared disaster zones, offered manpower and other aid for this event, which I believe they should. That is what we have a governmental body for, to deal with issues that the private sector cannot, or would not if left alone. In this manner, however, we are again all pitching in toward the cause with our taxes going to provide relief.