When you think about it, our feet are pretty amazing. For most, they're an unfaltering foundation - two shock absorbers we rely on daily to hold our weight and propel us through life. Comprised of dozens of bones and hundreds of ligaments, muscles, and tendons, the average person's feet take a fair beating every day - on average, people stand for about four hours every day and take around 5K steps as well. Because your feet are smaller than most other parts of your body, they endure an enormous impact with each step, adding up to hundreds of tons of weight daily.
Strangely, when our feet, ankles, or toes begin to hurt, we do our best to ignore the pain and push through the day. We even give up sports and outdoor activities that we love. Unfortunately, ignoring pain and delaying treatment will further damage your feet and, by proxy, your whole body.
If you're living with foot and ankle pain or have given up on fun activities like hiking and jogging, it's time to change. Why sacrifice a life full of outdoor activities in our beautiful part of the world when you can visit an expert podiatrist in Scripps Ranch, CA?
Welcome to North County Foot and Ankle - where men and women just like you get new leases on life through some of the most advanced podiatric treatments available in California. With more than 50 years of combined experience treating a wide range of foot and ankle problems, our pioneering doctors have helped hundreds of people reclaim their love of walking, jogging, and life in general.
What makes North County Foot and Ankle stand out from other foot and ankle doctors in Scripps Ranch? Unlike some foot doctors, our podiatrists work with a client-first mentality. When you walk through our front doors, the time you spend in our office is all about you. We believe in a strong physician-patient relationship fortified by one-on-one attention and honest communication.
Before offering foot pain treatment options, we perform a thorough evaluation, taking into account your individual needs, goals, and preferences. Once that's done, we'll discuss your treatment options in detail and come to a mutual decision regarding the best treatment plan for you.
Whether you have a minor hangnail or need complex surgery, you will receive the same level of compassionate care from our medical team. As board-certified podiatrists in Scripps Ranch, our doctors are proud to treat you. You can rest easy knowing they will take the time to explain what's causing your foot pain, what treatments are best suited to your problem, and what steps you should take after treatment.
And while our podiatrists are uniquely qualified to perform surgery, we often recommend non-surgical options, using treatments like orthotics to relieve foot, arch, and heel pain. From sports injuries and bunions to gout and blisters, we're here to help you live life to the fullest without nagging, debilitating foot pain.
Patients visit our foot clinic in Scripps Ranch, CA, for many podiatric problems, including:
If you're dealing with chronic foot pain or are concerned about a long-lasting symptom that affects your daily life, we're here to help. Unsure if you need to call to make an appointment? These symptoms are often signs that you might need to visit our foot and ankle doctors:
Most people over 40 know that strange body aches and pains become more common with age. The same can be said with our feet. As we get older, our feet usually spread out and lose the fatty pads that help cushion our feet. If you're overweight, the ligaments and bones in your feet also take an extra beating. Also, with age, foot abnormalities that you were born with become more pronounced, as the joints in your feet lose flexibility and become rigid. To make matters worse, the skin covering your feet dries out, resulting in more cuts, scrapes, and infections.
It's clear that we endure more foot pain as we get older, but what kind of foot pain should we be most concerned about? It can be hard to tell - pain from what looks like normal bruising may actually be a sign that something more serious is occurring. That's why we're listing some of the most common symptoms of serious foot problems. That way, you're better educated and have a better shot at figuring out whether you need a simple bag of ice or a visit to your podiatrist in Scripps Ranch, CA.
When you sprain your foot or ankle or suffer an acute injury, it's normal for your foot to swell up. This type of swelling typically goes down after 48 hours have passed. However, if you hurt your foot and the swelling is severe and doesn't go away after a couple of days, it's cause for concern. Persistent swelling often indicates an ankle or foot injury that needs podiatric care.
North County Foot and Ankle Pro Tip: If you notice persistent swelling of any kind on your body, it's wise to see a doctor. Ankle swelling, in particular, could be a warning sign that a blood clot or heart issue is present.
It's normal for your foot or ankle to "smart" after you stub your toe or twist your ankle. However, if you're experiencing ongoing ankle and foot pain, it's probably not normal. The pain doesn't have to be sharp, either - if you have dull pain, tenderness, or weakness that lasts more than two days, a trip to the foot doctor may be in order.
Minor ankle and foot injuries, like sprains, are quite common. When a sprain happens, it's normal to experience some instability or weakness afterward. Chronic instability, however, is a more serious problem. Long-term instability or weakness may signify torn ligaments or something worse. If you've had trouble standing or walking for a long time, it's best to make an appointment at a foot clinic in Scripps Ranch.
North County Foot and Ankle Pro Tip: Podiatric experts like those at North County Foot and Ankle may have a long-term solution to help reclaim your mobility without surgery. Give our office call today to learn more!
Stiffness is a normal symptom that should be expected with sprains, plantar fasciitis, and arthritis. Often, you can alleviate such stiffness with rest, weight loss, stretching, or even new shoes. With that said, if you're experiencing ongoing stiffness, it could be a red flag that something more serious is going on.
When you've been sitting for a long time, you may have noticed a popping sound from your feet when you stand. That sound is perfectly normal. So long as it's painless, you've got nothing to worry about. However, if you feel pain when you hear a popping noise, it could indicate a subluxation or dislocation, which are conditions that require a podiatrist's attention.
If you're not sure whether you should be concerned about a painful foot or ankle symptom, give our clinic in Scripps Ranch a call ASAP. Our helpful technicians can help answer your questions and set up a time for you to speak with one of our friendly podiatrists.
Here are just a few of the typical foot problems we treat daily.
Do you have intense heel pain that appears when you first stand up, only for it to disappear after a few steps? If so, you could be one of the millions of people in the U.S. suffering from plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is most often caused by an inflamed ligament covering bones on the bottom of your feet. Also called "Policeman's Heel," this painful condition is a common reason for heel pain, but it won't go away on its own.
Almost all cases of plantar fasciitis will get better with easy, non-surgical treatments and lifestyle changes. A good place to start is by refraining from activities or sports that cause pain, like jogging, hiking, running, or aerobic exercises.
Common treatment options at North County Foot and Ankle include:
Orthotic shoe inserts provide you with the arch support that your feet need, especially with shoes like women's flats that don't have much foot support. We also recommend wearing shoes that are appropriate for the activity you're enjoying, like hiking boots on your favorite trail and running shoes on the street or track.
Stretching regularly with gentle exercises can help prevent plantar fasciitis and stop flare-ups. Stretching your calves, specifically, reduces heel pain effectively. After you schedule an appointment at our foot clinic in Scripps Ranch, one of our doctors can explain the proper exercises in more detail.
Wearing a brace or splint while you sleep will keep your plantar fascia stretched. That way, when you wake up and take your first steps of the day, you shouldn't have as much pain because your plantar fascia won't have a chance to tighten up overnight.
North County Foot and Ankle Pro Tip: If you're still struggling with plantar fasciitis after using orthotics, treatments like orthobiologics, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment, or extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) may be more effective.
Ingrown toenails are among the most common foot maladies in the United States. Though common, ingrown toenails can be painful, resulting in swelling, bleeding, pus, and more. Various factors cause ingrown toenails, such as heredity, trauma, hygiene, nail conditions, and improper trimming. Thankfully, with the help of an expert, most ingrown toenails can be treated at home or in a podiatrist's office.
Ingrown toenails happen when the corners and sides of your toenails grow and eventually dig into the flesh around your nail. Most often occurring on the big toe, ingrown toenails become a serious concern when they are left untreated or when an infection is involved. To determine whether your ingrown toenail needs an evaluation by a foot doctor in Scripps Ranch, CA, keep an eye out for initial symptoms and infection symptoms:
To help prevent infection, try cutting your nails in a straight line, and don't cut them too short. Do not cut your nails to match the shape of your toe.
When your toenail becomes ingrown, you need doctors with real expertise in diagnosing and treating foot problems. At North County Foot and Ankle, our doctors are highly qualified to treat the underlying conditions causing your ingrown toenail. That way, you can enjoy long-term relief and also learn the ways to prevent ingrown toenails in the future.
If you have a bony bump near the bottom joint of your big toe, chances are it's a bunion. Bunions are deformities on your feet that are formed when your front foot bones become misaligned. When this happens, the misaligned bones cause the top half of your big toe to point inward toward your second toe. From there, your tendons will tighten, which pulls your toe even further inward. Once your toe is pulled more inward, the bottom joint of your big toe will bulge outward. The bulge you see is actually what we refer to as a bunion.
Without treatment, your toe pain can worsen, and the bunion can grow. Painful swelling in the balls of your feet can also cause hammertoe. Hammertoe happens your second toe is bent out of shape by your misaligned big toe.
Luckily, North County Foot and Ankle is California's go-to clinic for bunion treatment in Scripps Ranch, CA. Our highly-trained doctors can stop these uncomfortable conditions from happening and help prevent worse conditions from developing.
Jason Morris, a board-certified podiatric foot surgeon in Scripps Ranch, CA, is one of the top podiatrists in the greater San Diego area and has successfully treated patients with bunions for over ten years. He offers advanced treatments for bunion pain, such as:
Our hand-made orthotics, which are worn in your shoes, are molded to fit your foot exactly, correcting bone misalignments and relieving pain much better than cookie-cutter, store-bought options.
Drs. Morris and Redkar performs state-of-the-art triplanar correction surgery using 3-D digital imaging and a minimal incision approach. This procedure is very effective and works by rotating misaligned big toe bones back to the proper position. Once your toe bones are back in position, a metal plate is attached to your bones so that they remain aligned over long-term use.
Drs. Morris and Redkar may recommend both surgery and custom orthotics to keep your foot pain-free and your bunion from growing back.
If you’ve been enduring foot or ankle pain that affects your mobility and quality of life, why not make a change for the better? At North County Foot & Ankle Specialists, our podiatrists in Escondido help patients of all ages. Drs. Morris and Redkar take a patient-first approach with all of our podiatry services. Both are highly qualified and recipients of prestigious awards.
Featured in Los Angeles Magazine’s prestigious Top Doctors list of 2021, Dr. Avanti Redkar is a board-certified podiatrist that specializes in foot and ankle pathology. Dr. Redkar earned her undergrad degree in biology at the University of Scranton and her master’s degree in nutrition at SUNY Buffalo. She attended podiatry school at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. Her three-year surgical residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York, included foot and rearfoot surgery, wound care, and hyperbaric medicine training. Dr. Redkar also completed a one-year fellowship in sports medicine and ankle reconstruction.
After a rigorous three-year residency at the University of Pittsburgh, Jason Morris, DPM, moved to sunny California to practice podiatric medicine. Once there, Dr. Morris worked as an attending physician at UCLA Medical Center and Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Since relocating to the Escondido area, he has been a staff physician at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido and Poway. Dr. Morris is a podiatric foot and ankle specialist with board certification in rearfoot and forefoot reconstructive surgery. Dr. Morris has undergone extensive training in sports medicine, ankle trauma, diabetic limb salvage, and reconstructive surgery.
If you've been enduring foot or ankle pain that affects your mobility and quality of life, why not make a change for the better? At North County Foot & Ankle Specialists, our podiatrists in Scripps Ranch help patients of all ages. Drs. Morris and Redkar take a patient-first approach with all of our podiatry services. From minor bunion treatments to complex issues like foot fractures, every treatment option we consider is chosen with your best interest in mind.
Our podiatrists are members of several professional organizations, including:
If more conservative treatments are better for your condition, non-surgical solutions like custom orthotics may be the best route. If you need ankle or foot surgery, our podiatrists will complete your procedure with time-tested skill and precision. Because, at the end of the day, our goal is to provide you with the most effective foot and ankle pain solutions with the quickest recovery options available.
Contact us online or via phone today to schedule an appointment at our Scripps Ranch office. By tomorrow, you'll be one step closer to loving life without foot or ankle pain.
Southern California’s homebuying buzz this summer has been about crazy bidding wars, but real estate valuation metrics don’t seem to reflect such a wild market.How can that be? Maybe the anecdotes are market oddities. Or perhaps the summer’s aggressive pricing will show up in housing indexes this autumn after pending sales are completed.To understand this disconnect, we must first understand what’s inside the two main yardsticks commonly used to analyze the housing market’s overall price direction....
Southern California’s homebuying buzz this summer has been about crazy bidding wars, but real estate valuation metrics don’t seem to reflect such a wild market.
How can that be? Maybe the anecdotes are market oddities. Or perhaps the summer’s aggressive pricing will show up in housing indexes this autumn after pending sales are completed.
To understand this disconnect, we must first understand what’s inside the two main yardsticks commonly used to analyze the housing market’s overall price direction. Both track data from closed transactions, estimating whether a region’s prices are up, down or flat.
Start with the median selling price, a benchmark that draws much of real estate’s wrath. It’s rather simple math, reflecting the mid-point of prices paid by all homebuyers in a period. Half are higher, half are lower. The purported knock on medians is that they could be influenced by the mix of what sells vs. actual pricing trends.
Sept. 11, 2023
Much of the coverage of homebuying trends by the Union-Tribune and Southern California News Group is based on a 35-year history of median prices for sales of all residence types in six local counties. The data comes from Irvine-based CoreLogic, which previously was DQNews and before that DataQuick.
The top alternatives are the so-called “paired sales” indexes. These geeky calculations measure price performance by looking at the gains or losses for the owner on each existing, single-family home sold in a month. Most folks are familiar with the Case-Shiller version of this index, named for a pair of New England professors who pioneered this math.
My trusty spreadsheet reviewed 35 years of price swings for the Los Angeles-Orange County region and San Diego County. It looked at 414 months’ worth of 12-month movements in the Case-Shiller indexes vs. the median. I’ll note that to mirror Case-Shiller’s LA-OC index, the two counties’ median prices were combined into a single sales-weighted average.
What the spreadsheet found might surprise some folks: Despite the mathematic complexity of Case-Shiller, there’s not much difference over the long term from the median price gauge.
Consider the average annual price gains since 1988. In San Diego, gains ran 6.1 percent a year by Case-Shiller math vs. 5.7 percent for its median. In LA-OC, yearly gains ran 5.6 percent when measured by Case-Shiller vs. 6 percent for the median price.
Or look at the extremes of the past third of a century. The biggest 12-month gain in LA-OC was 33 percent for both Case-Shiller (in July 2004) and for the median (in April 2004). In San Diego, the top was 33 percent for Case-Shiller (in July 2004) and 28 percent for its median (in November 2002).
Sept. 8, 2023
And the biggest loss? In LA-OC it was a drop of 28 percent for Case-Shiller (October 2008) vs. a 36 percent drop for the median (January 2009). In San Diego, Case-Shiller’s worst was off 27 percent (October 2008) vs. 35 percent for its median (January 2009).
One good example of short-run differences is the volatile times of the pandemic era.
Initially, the market saw a sharp rise in home values fueled by a thirst for larger living spaces and plunging mortgage rates. Let’s look at February 2020, just before the coronavirus upended the economy, up to housing’s early 2022 price peaks.
San Diego saw gains of 61 percent by Case-Shiller math vs. 42 percent for its median. LA-OC saw a 46 percent jump by Case-Shiller vs. 35 percent for the median.
Then rates soared in 2022 as the Federal Reserve tried to cool an overheated economy. A swift housing correction saw LA-OC prices drop off the peak by 8 percent, according to Case-Shiller vs. 11 percent for the median. In San Diego, prices fell 11 percent by both measurements.
This year, housing saw a rebound. LA-OC prices gained 6 percent off the cyclical bottom through June by Case-Shiller vs. 10 percent for the median. San Diego was up 9 percent from the lows by Case-Shiller vs. 12 percent for its median.
Differences? Yes! Major ones? To me, not really.
I’ll also mention that two really nerdy statistical measurements — standard deviation and correlation — suggest very minimal differences between Case-Shiller and the median.
You could say Case-Shiller was more generous to home prices in the pandemic era. From February 2020 through June 2023, its indexes show 42 percent gains in LA-OC and a 56 percent increase in San Diego. Median calculations show a 32 percent jump in LA-OC and a 42 percent rise in San Diego.
But Southern California housing watchers should note that Case-Shiller also shows more down periods for local housing.
Ponder all 12-month periods since 1988. Case-Shiller showed LA-OC with year-over-year losses in 31 percent of those timeframes vs. 27 percent by the median math. In San Diego, it was 31 percent dips for Case-Shiller vs. 25 percent for median.
Instead of being flustered about statistical variances, I suggest embracing the gaps.
Reports on median prices are typically reported just a few weeks after the month’s end. View those stats as a quick snapshot of market conditions. Realtors’ associations also use median-based analysis of sales of existing single-family homes.
Yet paired-sales indexes tend to take more time to produce. For example, when Case-Shiller indexes are released on the last Tuesday of every month, it’s an analysis from two months earlier. Other paired-sales indexes include work done by the Federal Home Finance Agency and CoreLogic.
Nevertheless, look at these late-arriving paired-sales numbers as confirmation of trends. Or if you see differences, think of the gaps as question marks about the market’s movements – not the validity of the math.
Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com
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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The Grubers are happy to be back in San Diego, but the anxiety from their trip stayed with them.
“I have PTSD: I’m like, 'No you can’t eat that much’ oh wait we’re home now we have food," said Wendy Gruber.
"It was a whole different experience, like survival mode for so long.”
The Gruber family was excited to drive up to Lake Arrowhead on February 20. The camera on the front deck of their cabin shows there was barely any snow when they first arrived. A couple of days in, the situation drastically changed.
“By the morning we had probably four-five feet of snow just overnight.”
You can see from this time-lapse how quickly the snow piled up around their cabin. The Grubers and their neighbors had to constantly shovel it off to protect their cars and homes.
“This is our lives right now. We wake up, we shovel, go to sleep, wake up, another four feet of snow.”
The stress of being trapped worsened when they watched an empty cabin burn to the ground after the gas meter broke. The roofs of two nearby grocery stores caved in because of the heavy snow.
The family walked for four hours to get food from a local gas station, but they weren't alone.
“People were hiking up to our cabin to get food for us and our dogs. There was a hunter that gave us meat.”
After two weeks of struggle, they returned to Scripps Ranch on Sunday. The family says they're grateful to the community that helped them survive.
Wendy's relatives are selling shirts on Facebook with 100% of proceeds going toward Lake Arrowhead rescues. If you'd like to help, click here.
Copyright 2023 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CA — As Independence Day nears, it's time to ready the barbeque and find out where Fourth of July fireworks and other star-spangled celebrations are going on throughout San Diego County.Do note the date of events, as not all occur on July 4th. Plus, always confirm with organizers that activities are proceeding as planned.Enjoy the holiday, and Happy Fourth of July, from Patch!JULY 4: ...
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CA — As Independence Day nears, it's time to ready the barbeque and find out where Fourth of July fireworks and other star-spangled celebrations are going on throughout San Diego County.
Do note the date of events, as not all occur on July 4th. Plus, always confirm with organizers that activities are proceeding as planned.
Enjoy the holiday, and Happy Fourth of July, from Patch!
JULY 4: Red, White & Blue Celebration. At Omni La Costa Resort & Spa.
JULY 4: 4th Of July Fest & Fireworks: Elite Athlete Training Center. The event is free.
JULY 3: C4 Foundation July 3rd 'Land Of Free' Benefit Concert. Featuring "the one & only Nate Nathan & the Mac Daddy O’s Band."
JULY 4: July 4th Crown City Classic 12K, 5K & Kids' Run. A tradition in its 50th year!
JULY 4: July 4th Parade, Navy Leap Frogs, Concerts & Fireworks. Jam-packed day of patriotic fun ends with fireworks at the golf course.
JULY 4: July 4th 'Big Bay Boom' Fireworks Show. Grand display from four barges throughout the bay.
JULY 4: 4th Of July Parade: Powerhouse Park. Deck out your bikes, wagons, strollers — and even your dogs! — and join the fun.
JULY 4: San Diego County Fair July 4th Fireworks. Tickets available for Grandstand viewing.
JULY 4: 4th Of July Fest & Fireworks: Kennedy Park. Free, family activities & two live bands planned.
JULY 4: Olivenhain Fourth of July Parade. Annual family event at Olivenhain Meeting Hall.
JULY 4: July 4th Independence Day Concert & Fireworks: Great Green. With music by Urban Renewal Project & Navy Band Southwest's 32nd Street Brass Band.
JULY 4: IB Pier 4th Of July Fireworks. Details in the works.
JULY 4: 4th Of July Parade & Flyover. With pie-eating contest, too!
JULY 4: 4th Of July Drone Show. "Cutting-edge technology will emulate dazzling firework display & other patriotic images with minimum impact on our environment."
JULY 4: Lake Murray July 4th Music Fest & Fireworks. "A day of food, fun, bands & fireworks."
JULY 2: Scripps Mesa July 2nd Fireworks Show: Wangenheim Middle School. Triumphant return with new date & new location.
JUNE 30-JULY 4: Independence Weekend Carnival & July 1st Fireworks. Note the date for fireworks is July 1.
JUNE 24: Annual Independence Parade. Enjoy floats, bands, cool cars & more.
JULY 3: July 3rd Fireworks Celebration. Gates open at 5 p.m. & entertainment starts at 7 p.m.
JULY 4: July 4th Independence Day Flyover: Mission Pacific Hotel. "Historic flyover by vintage Beechcraft T-34s."
JULY 4: July 4th Old-Fashioned Festival, Veterans Ceremony & Fireworks. Fireworks launch from two locations!
JULY 4: 4th Of July Family Picnic & Fireworks. The community tradition returns to Olive Peirce Middle School.
JULY 4: July 4th Parade, Concert & Fireworks. Fun-filled patriotic day starts with community fair & concludes with concerts & fireworks.
JULY 1-4: SeaWorld FantaSEA Of Dreams Fireworks. Nightly fireworks, plus Jordin Sparks concert on July 2nd.
JULY 4: USS Midway July 4th Celebration. Sold out.
JULY 4: Maritime Museum July 4th Picnic & Fireworks Viewing. Tickets on sale.
JULY 4: Over The Top 4th Of July Celebration. At Top of the Hyatt.
JULY 4: Boardwalk Boom 4th of July Celebration. At Sally's Fish House & Bar.
JULY 4: July 4th Fireworks Cruises. Multiple departures planned Fourth of July.
JULY 4: 4th Of July Festival: Stars, Stripes & Spurs: Lakehouse Resort. With patriotic dog contest, sack races, watermelon-eating contest, musical chairs & more.
JULY 4: 4th Of July Concert, Kids' Fun & Fireworks: Bradley Park. "One of the most spirited 4th of July celebrations in North County."
JULY 4: 4th Of July 'Santee Salutes' Fest & Fireworks. Parking passes required in advance.
JULY 4: Scripps Ranch 4th Of July Run & Ride. Family-favorites are the fun run & bike ride.
JULY 4: Scripps Ranch 4th Of July Parade. "Yeehaw! Red, White, and Boots: Honoring American Cowboys."
JULY 4: University City July 4th Fun Run, 5K, Parade & Concert. "Have you heard? It’s back! The run, the food, the parade, the games, the booths" & more.
JULY 4: 4th Of July Concert & Fireworks: Brengle Terrace Park. Bring your dancing shoes! Live music from Cassie B Project.
Insurance company State Farm has asked to hike rates on homeowners by an average of 28.1% in response to wildfire risks and skyrocketing construction costs, according to the California Department of Insurance, which is charged with evaluating rate increase requests.The request, which was filed in February and is public, was not widely reported at the time.But its significance grew when State Farm announced it would cease accepting new applications for homeowners insurance in California on May 26. The company will continue to se...
Insurance company State Farm has asked to hike rates on homeowners by an average of 28.1% in response to wildfire risks and skyrocketing construction costs, according to the California Department of Insurance, which is charged with evaluating rate increase requests.
The request, which was filed in February and is public, was not widely reported at the time.
But its significance grew when State Farm announced it would cease accepting new applications for homeowners insurance in California on May 26. The company will continue to service its current customers and sell auto insurance in the state.
If the rate hike is approved, a process that usually takes at least six months, State Farm’s current customers would face increased monthly premiums when they renew their policies. In March, the company was granted a 6.9% rate increase for auto insurance customers.
State Farm declined to comment for this story. But several employees, insurance industry groups and the Department of Insurance say that climate change and soaring inflation have made the insurance giant’s position in California untenable.
“Insurance companies are trying to catch up and make changes to their business model so they can stay profitable and keep promises to customers,” said one Bay Area State Farm employee, who asked to remain anonymous as she is not authorized to speak to the press.
Justified or not, State Farm’s decision will make it significantly more difficult for Californians to insure their homes and will hit the company’s agents particularly hard.
And industry professionals say it could be part of a wider insurance company trend. On Thursday, it came to light that Allstate stopped writing homeowner and commercial insurance policies last year; previously, it had only been mentioned in industry publications.
Are you trying to buy a house? Does this issue affect you? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Farm is not the first insurance company to extricate itself from California due to these factors. Rather, it announced the move publicly, said Rex Frazier, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of California, an industry lobbying group.
“Even the insurance giant State Farm cannot ignore the laws of economics,” he told The Standard.
According to insurance professionals, extreme weather and regulatory policy are at the core of the issue.
In 1988, California passed Proposition 103, a law requiring insurance companies to get approval from the Department of Insurance to change property and casualty insurance rates.
“Department of Insurance rate regulation experts always represent consumers’ interests,” said Michael Soller, the department’s spokesperson. “They use every tool available to ensure consumers are not paying more than they should and that, as the law dictates, rates are not inadequate, excessive or unfairly discriminatory.”
But this system has kept the state’s insurance rates “artificially low” relative to the risks that insurers are taking on, said Janet Ruiz, a spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute, an industry group.
California’s rules for formulating insurance rates are also unique among U.S. states and put insurers at a disadvantage, Frazier said.
Whereas other states consider the current risks associated with the area where the insurer is operating, California calculates rates based on the average of how much a company has paid in claims over the past 20 years.
“How would you do business in a wildfire-prone area where you’re not allowed to look at fuel density around you?” said Frazier, referring to uncleared brush that could fuel a wildfire near homes.
Longer wildfire seasons and increasingly disastrous blazes have made it significantly more expensive for insurance companies to operate in California.
In 2017, the state clocked one of its worst wildfire seasons to date—bad news for insurers, but within the realm of their expectations.
But the next year was also one of the worst. Wildfire decimated nearly 25,000 structures, killing over 100 people and burning the town of Paradise to the ground. The 2020 and 2021 seasons were also particularly bad.
Insurance companies began to quietly stop insuring properties in these areas after the slew of near-successive catastrophic wildfire years.
But not State Farm. During that period, it grew its market share from 17.6% to 21% of the homeowners insurance market in California, Frazier said.
For the Bay Area employee who requested to remain anonymous, State Farm’s insurance premiums have been surprisingly low given the risks and the costs of home construction and auto repairs.
“A lot of insurance companies got out of California two years ago,” she said. “State Farm managed to stay, and our rates have been very competitive.”
While no one denies the risks and challenges facing insurance companies, State Farm’s home insurance halt will have significant consequences for Californians.
According to the Department of Insurance, there are 115 insurance companies continuing to write residential policies in California.
But several insurance professionals told The Standard that most of these companies are small. They are unlikely to be able to handle the onslaught of customers who can no longer turn to State Farm.
Frazier said he believes that many homeowners will have to avail themselves of the California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan, the insurance option of last resort for high-risk properties that cannot get commercial insurance. It costs more and covers less, but meets the minimum requirements to allow a buyer to get a mortgage and close on a home.
State Farm employees will also feel the pinch. The company’s insurance agents are independent contractors known in industry parlance as “captive agents”—they are only allowed to sell State Farm insurance products. All have built careers around doing just that.
Now, they find themselves captive to the company’s decision to stop binding new homeowners policies across the state. Some may have to lay off employees.
Mary Schade Wood has been a State Farm agent in San Dimas, outside Los Angeles, for 30 years.
She sings the company’s praises for treating customers and employees well and being ahead of the curve on issues like diversity in the workplace.
But when she learned of the decision to stop selling new homeowner policies, Wood experienced “utter and complete shock,” she said.
Wood’s agency had just five hours to write new policies. She got on the phone and frantically called all the people whom the agents had given quotes.
When Wood’s future son-in-law called and announced he needed insurance for the house he and her daughter are moving into this month, it was already too late.
“I can’t even write that policy for my own child,” Wood said.
She will now be “basically retired,” servicing her current clients and taking payments and claims.
“I actually just got off the phone with a friend of mine, and she was just hiring someone,” Wood said. “She had to call him this morning and tell him his job is no longer available.”
She blames Prop. 103 and the Department of Insurance’s resistance to raising rates for the problems State Farm is now facing. That—combined with climate change and inflation—has depleted State Farm of California’s reserves. She believes it will take the company years to rebuild that reserve. State Farm of California is a separate entity from the firm’s umbrella company, known as Mother Mutual among agents.
Despite her shock at the news, Wood has no doubt that the company had a serious reason to stop signing new homeowners policies.
“I just really love this company. They have treated us so well,” she said. “For them to go and do something like this, it has to be really bad.”
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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — It’s hard to imagine this busy café was completely empty four months after it opened. But the pandemic forced Nutmeg Bakery & Cafe in Scripps Ranch to close its doors for almost a year.
“Our numbers went from a couple hundred orders a day down to just over a dozen,” said co-owner Drew Hoffos.
They reopened in 2021, uncertain about what the future would hold. Fast forward to 2022, and, “I couldn’t have been happier; I was yelling in the car all by myself.”
Co-owners Drew and Michka Hoffos got a call from celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s team to be featured on his show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."
“It was a sign that things were going to be OK,” said Michka Hoffos.
They filmed for three days, but the man himself only came for an hour and half.
“I really thought I was going to be calm when he walked in," Michka said. "You try not to be starstruck and then he came in and I was like, 'Ugh.'”
The Hoffos’ and Fieri spoke about two of their signature dishes — La Havana panini and the Bananas Foster French toast. Both dishes were created by Drew Hoffos made with locally sourced ingredients.
“They say just be ready, because the 'Triple D effect,' they call it. As soon as the show airs, you’ll see a massive spike in volume.”
The Hoffos’ say they're still struggling from the pandemic. They're hopeful this episode will bring in new customers.
The episode titled "West Coast Wonders" will air Friday, Jan. 6, at 9 p.m. on the Food Network.
Learn more about the Nutmeg Bakery & Cafe at https://nutmegsd.com/.
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