Some Insurance Companies Refuse New Policies In Western Montana Wildfire Areas

As the fire season has ravaged parts of western Montana, it has also affected the real estate market, in that some insurance companies are refusing to offer policies in some zones affected by wildfires.

Kyle Schmautz, spokesman for Montana’s Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale, said he has received questions from Missoula area realtors about the practice.

“It’s very common for insurance policies when it comes to natural disasters, whether it be fires or floods, that insurers won’t write new policies, or won’t renew them, if properties are immediately threatened by a natural disaster,” Schmauch said. “That being said, we are operating under an advisory memo from the previous administration, still in effect today, that insurance companies cannot refuse to write insurance policies based on a generic geographical location. That means they can’t decide not to write policies for all of Montana, or all of Missoula County, Ravalli County, or for a specific zip code.”