Dan Walters at CalMatters:

While Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislators wrestle with a massive state budget deficit this year, a few blocks from the Capitol another crisis that could have far more impact on California families will be playing out. Ricardo Lara, California’s insurance commissioner, will be trying to dissuade companies that provide insurance coverage to millions of homeowners from fleeing the state. Citing heavy losses from disastrous wildfires and the potential for more destruction in the future, the largest insurers, such as State Farm and Farmers, have already cut back on new policies and renewals.  As a result, many homeowners in fire-prone regions have been forced into the state’s last ditch insurance plan, called FAIR, which offers reduced coverage at high premiums, to protect themselves and comply with their mortgages.