California Wildfire Survivor Bills Pass Senate Committee

June 15, 2018

Four bills sponsored by the California Department of Insurance that the department believes will strengthen consumer protections for wildfire survivors have passed the Senate Insurance Committee with unanimous, bipartisan votes.

Assembly Bill 1772 would extend the amount of time a home or business owner has to rebuild an insured property from two to three years after a declared wildfire emergency and receive the full replacement costs to which they are entitled.

Assembly Bill 1797 would require insurers to either provide a policyholder with a full replacement cost estimate every other year or apply an inflation factor to the dwelling limit at each renewal and clearly offer the consumer the option to obtain a full replacement cost estimate.

Assembly Bill 1799 would require insurers to provide one free, full set of certified policy documents, including any endorsements, and the policy declarations page within 30 calendar days of a covered loss, upon request of a policyholder.

Assembly Bill 1800 would clarify the current law that an insurer must pay out the full extended replacement cost benefit covered under the provisions of a plan, regardless whether the policyholder chooses to rebuild at the same location, rebuild at a new location, or purchase an already built home.

“These common-sense bills will help Californians with their recovery after a wildfire,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement. “Making sure homeowners have enough information to make informed insurance coverage decisions and have the peace of mind insurance is meant to provide is critical.”

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