Letters to the Editor: Insurance companies are abandoning SoCal mountain residents

A basketball hoop sticks out of a tall pile of snow
Sugarloaf, near Big Bear Lake, was one of several mountain communities buried in late-winter blizzards in February and March of 2023.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I appreciated your article regarding the effects of last winter’s blizzard on residents of San Bernardino Mountain communities and the government’s poor response. You noted that insurance companies denied the claims of those you interviewed and that residents either drained their retirement savings or did without.

I hope that you will continue your investigation but in the future focus on the insurance companies. It was alarming to find out that many of the people whose homes were damaged had claims denied.

Teri Ostlie, whom you interviewed, was denied insurance benefits because her roof did not fully collapse. Instead, the weight of the roof buckled and separated the walls from the structure. Claim denied.


People across the state pay enormous amounts of money to insurance companies to protect our homes. Then, when we make a claim on something this serious, it’s denied.

Please continue your investigation by focusing on the insurance companies. There is something rotten there.

Jeri Simpson, Lake Arrowhead, Calif.