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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Let insurance companies drop fire policies. It’s the market at work

Firefighters
Firefighters battle a wildfire.
(Mark Ralston / AFP-Getty Images)

To the editor: The L.A. Times’ article on the state’s one-year moratorium on insurance companies dropping customers in fire-ravaged areas does not mention market forces.

Let insurers withdraw or at least set rates that reflect the risk, and the problem of folks building and living in hazardous areas solves itself.

We shouldn’t be encouraging or subsidizing high-risk behavior. The price of land will fall to levels where people can afford to self-manage the risk. We do not need to ban risky behavior or tell private companies they must insure customers who disregard their own safety.

Robert Newton, Covina

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To the editor: I am so glad that there is now a moratorium on canceling fire insurance.

Not long ago, I got a form letter — terse, cold and boilerplate — announcing my fire insurance was canceled because I live in the hills. The company was AAA , and I’ve been a member since I was 15. That’s more than 45 years.

I made my payments on time every time, yet the company’s cruel nastygram reeked of “mansplaining.” I was furious but was able to cancel my bundled insurance and sign up for a better policy that costs less.

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How can companies ever expect loyalty when they treat their customers like that?

Susan Hodgson, Burbank

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To the editor: While I am all for supporting the heroic work of our firefighters, any tax meant to fund them should be paid by all residents — property owners and renters alike. By asking voters to approve yet another parcel tax, this time for firefighters, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has singled out property owners to shoulder the entire tax burden.

As a small landlord, I have a stake in all the properties I own, and so do my tenants. But with rent control ordinances, many landlords cannot share this expense with their tenants.

One would think the supervisors learned from the failure of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Measure EE parcel tax, also a worthy cause with widespread support, in last year’s special election.

Parcel taxes are doomed to fail because it is unfair to ask a portion of residents to pay for services that benefit the entire population.

Penelope Jones, Los Angeles


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