Builders Issue an Alarm on Insurance Premiums

The California home-building industry is issuing warning signs, stating that the unavailability and high cost of insurance is undertaking crisis portions.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Mick Pattinson, head of the group and president of San Diego-based Barratt American, informed state lawmakers at a recent legislative hearing that only a small number of insurance companies are selling liability policies to builders and contractors. He said premiums have jumped 30 to 100 percent and, in some instances, even more in the past year.

Pattinson stated that insurance companies across the United States have faced mounting claims and lower incomes from their stock and bond investments, resulting in elimination of less-profitable business lines and higher business premiums.

Saying it has reached crisis levels, Pattinson said the problem is impacting California home builders because the state has the nation’s most lenient laws governing construction dispute lawsuits.