4 More Insurers Exit California Home and Auto Insurance Markets

Withdrawals by Kemper companies will affect 43,433 home and fire policies, 27,400 auto policies.

Evelyn Pimplaskar
Evelyn PimplaskarEditor-in-Chief, Director of Content
  • 10+ years in insurance and personal finance content

  • 30+ years in media, PR, and content creation

Evelyn leads Insurify’s content team. She’s passionate about creating empowering content to help people transform their financial lives and make sound insurance-buying decisions.

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John Leach
Edited byJohn Leach
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John LeachSenior Insurance Copy Editor
  • Licensed property and casualty insurance agent

  • 8+ years editing experience

John leads Insurify’s copy desk, helping ensure the accuracy and readability of Insurify’s content. He’s a licensed agent specializing in home and car insurance topics.

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Published November 8, 2023 at 4:00 PM PST | Reading time: 2 minutes

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Four small insurers will cease writing and renewing homeowners, renters, and auto insurance in California beginning in 2024, according to a filing with the state’s Department of Insurance.

In mid-October, Kemper Independence Insurance Company filed a notice with the state that the company and three insurers it owns will no longer do business in California. Kemper Independence, Unitrin Direct Property & Casualty Company, Merastar Insurance Company, and Unitrin Auto and Home Insurance Company will stop writing new policies as of Jan. 1, 2024, and cease renewals effective March 1, 2024, according to the filing.

Affected policyholders

Kemper Independence, Merastar, and Unitrin Direct Property & Casualty currently provide home, renters, and condo insurance in California. Unitrin Auto and Home Insurance Company only sells private passenger auto insurance in the state.

The withdrawals will affect approximately:

  • 2,900 auto insurance policies from Unitrin Direct

  • 24,500 auto policies underwritten by Kemper Independence Insurance

  • 9,900 homeowners policies from Unitrin Auto and Home Insurance

  • 223 home insurance policies written by Unitrin Direct

  • 110 homeowners policies from Merastar Insurance

  • 33,200 home and fire police by Kemper Independence

Combined, the policies represent about 0.39% of California’s total home insurance market and 0.23% of its auto insurance market, according to filing documents.

“Considering the modest market share, we do not expect this withdrawal will create any market availability issues,” Kemper general counsel Christopher T. Longeway said in the filing.

Impact on California insurance market

As part of its withdrawal from the home insurance market, Kemper Independence and its three subsidiaries will be barred from filing a request to create a replacement program for at least three years, according to a response letter from Gerald Hill of the Department of Insurance.

California’s home insurance market has already taken multiple hits in 2023. Seven of the state’s 12 largest home insurance companies have either limited business in California or withdrawn from the marketplace.

California’s largest home insurance company, State Farm, paused writing new policies, and its second-largest, Farmers, has limited the number of new policies it will write to 7,000 per month.

California’s home insurance costs have risen significantly since 2021, when the average annual cost to insure a $200,000 home in the state was $972. In 2023, the average is $1,056. Keep in mind that the average home value in California is $747,352, according to Zillow.

What’s next

Kemper said it will begin its withdrawal on Jan. 1, 2024, and finish by Feb. 28, 2025. It will continue to service existing business, including paying claims for covered losses that occur while a policy is still in force, according to the company’s filing.

It will notify policyholders by sending non-renewal notices and notifying policyholders’ agents of record.

Affected policyholders can use the California Home Insurance Finder to look for a new agent or insurance company.


Evelyn Pimplaskar
Evelyn PimplaskarEditor-in-Chief, Director of Content

Evelyn Pimplaskar is Insurify’s director of content. With 30-plus years in content creation – including 10 years specializing in personal finance – Evelyn’s done everything from covering volatile local elections as a beat reporter to building fintech content libraries from the ground up.

Before joining Insurify, she was editor-in-chief at Credible, where she launched and developed the lending marketplace’s media partnership’s content initiative and managed the restructuring of the editorial team to enhance content production efficiency. Formerly, as tax editor for Credit Karma, Evelyn built a library of more than 300 educational articles on federal and state taxes, achieving triple-digit year-over-year growth in e-files from organic search.

Her early career included work as a content marketer, vice president and managing officer of a boutique public relations agency, chief copy editor for 14 weekly Forbes publications, reporting for large and mid-sized daily newspapers, and freelancing for the Associated Press.

Evelyn is passionate about creating personal finance content that distills complex topics into relatable, easy-to-understand stories. She believes great content helps empower readers with the information they need to make important personal finance decisions.

John Leach
Edited byJohn LeachSenior Insurance Copy Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
John LeachSenior Insurance Copy Editor
  • Licensed property and casualty insurance agent

  • 8+ years editing experience

John leads Insurify’s copy desk, helping ensure the accuracy and readability of Insurify’s content. He’s a licensed agent specializing in home and car insurance topics.

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