CSAC Bulletin Article

Insurance Commissioner, Legislators Unveil Wildfire Bill Package

January 18, 2018

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, State Senators Mike McGuire and Bill Dodd, and Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Jim Wood, Monique Limón and Marc Levin announced the Wildfire Survivors Insurance Recovery bill package at a press event on Tuesday, January 16. The package includes several bills and legislative proposals that may strengthen consumer protections for those making insurance claims.

The package included the following measures:

AB 1772 (Aguiar-Curry) This bill would give wildfire victims an additional year to rebuild their homes and businesses after a catastrophic wildfire and help them collect the full amount of their insurance policies. It would also extend the amount of time a home or business owner has to rebuild an insured property from two to three years and help them receive the full replacement costs after a declared emergency.

AB 1797 ( Levine) This bill would require insurers to provide updated replacement costs to consumers when policies are renewed. 

AB 1799 (Levine) The bill would require insurers to provide a full certified copy of the insurance plan to policyholders.

AB 1800 (Levine) The bill would make insurance companies responsible for the full replacement value of the insurance plan no matter where a family wants to purchase or rebuild a home.

AB 1875 (Wood) The bill would require all insurance companies to offer a coverage option for no less than 50 percent of the extended replacement cost for residential properties. It would also require insurance companies to advise customers of this option and its price before policies are issued or renewed.

SB 894 (Dodd) The bill would require insurers to renew policies for disaster victims for a minimum of two years following the loss of a home, and would require companies to report to the insurance commissioner if they subsequently non-renew or pull out of a market. It would also allow disaster victims to recover living expenses from their insurance company for a longer time. The bill would also require an insurer to allow disaster victims to combine their policy limits for primary dwelling, other structures, contents, and additional living expenses, to pay for any of the covered purposes.

SB 897 (McGuire) The bill waives inventory claim form requirements during a declared state of emergency by the governor. It would allow homeowners the option of forgoing the itemization list and instead automatically providing 80 percent of the policy limit. 

Assemblywoman Monique Limón intends to author a bill to require insurers to participate in a consolidated debris removal program authorized by a local government when there is a declared disaster.

CSAC Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources will closely monitor all fire-related related legislation proposed this year.

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