Wildfire Insurance Bill Signed by California Governor

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed into law a bill that is intended to combat what are believed underinsurance issues revealed by 2017 wildfires.

AB 1797 by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, is expected to create a requirement for insurers writing residential property insurance to conduct a replacement cost estimate on an every other year basis.

This would ensure policy holders are covered with current and timely estimates that accurately reflect their property’s value, according to the bill’s supporters.

AB 1797 will take effect July 1, 2019.

“We heard from wildfire survivors about the devastating realization of being underinsured due to inaccurate or outdated replacement cost models used by insurers,” Levine said in a statement. “After facing the most destructive wildfires in state history, Californians should not have to begin the recovery process underinsured. California has prioritized protecting consumers and helping prevent underinsurance.”

Another wildfire insurance bill by Levine was signed by Brown early last month.

AB 1799 is designed to standardize what information about policies insurance companies are required to provide to fire victims after a loss. The bill requires insurers to provide the policyholder with all the information they need to understand the coverage they paid for, including the full insurance policy, any endorsements to the policy, and the policy declarations page.