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Guidewire Optimistic About New Direction of California Insurance

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SAN MATEO, Calif. ~ Today, Guidewire CEO Mike Rosenbaum provided a public statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom's executive order and the California Department of Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara's proposal to ensure the viability of the state's insurance market.

Rosenbaum applauded the actions of Newsom and Lara, noting that "California's insurance crisis calls for collaboration between government regulators and insurers to create a sustainable insurance market – one that provides consumers protection and choice."

He went on to explain that, according to HazardHub data, more than 90% of property damage in California is concentrated in just 10% of the state which rates as an F for wildfire risk. Homes in these areas are 50 times more likely to suffer wildfire damage.

California is the nation's largest P&C market with more than $11 billion in homeowners and fire insurance premiums written. Twelve insurers account for 85% of the insurance coverage in the state and seven of these insurers have left the state or limited new policies in the market.

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In an effort to address this crisis, the California Department of Insurance has announced its intent to allow insurers to incorporate the cost of reinsurance into their rate calculations. This proposal also permits insurers to assess catastrophe risk using forward-looking projections supplied by risk models. This progressive approach recognizes that current reliance on historical data is becoming increasingly outdated given climate change and urban expansion into high wildfire risk areas.

Roger Arnemann, General Manager & SVP at Guidewire Analytics, commented on this development saying it "will be a game changer in improving market conditions." He noted that traditional insurance risk assessment tools struggle to accurately identify and differentiate risk in wildfire-prone areas due to their reliance on outdated technologies which consider all properties within large geographical areas as having equal risk.

Arnemann went on to explain that HazardHub provides insurers with comprehensive data which allows them to assess and underwrite property risk profitably by examining over thirty data elements correlated with higher wildfire risk - mapping and defining that risk at exact property address level.

Overall, it appears that Governor Gavin Newsom's executive order and Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara's proposal are steps towards creating a sustainable insurance market which will provide consumers protection and choice - something Guidewire CEO Mike Rosenbaum strongly supports.
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