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CA Bill Would Create Incentive To Guarantee Fire Insurance

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Sacramento, CA — At the urging of State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, a proposed California law would require companies to write or renew home insurance policies in communities that meet a new statewide standard for fire hardening.

Insurance Commissioner Lara argues, “The insurance crisis is real and it will keep growing unless we take decisive action.”

Lara adds, “The inability to obtain insurance means more homes cannot be sold or bought, disrupting the local economy. It disrupts local businesses and non-profits, and agriculture is affected when we cannot obtain insurance.”

Under AB 2367, the Insurance Commissioner, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the State Fire Marshal would develop statewide standards for home and community hardening, in consultation with CAL Fire and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. Hardened homes in communities that meet this standard would receive a guaranteed offer or renewal of insurance.

In addition, the legislation would require insurance companies to offer financial incentives for homeowners to make their property more fire-safe.

The legislation is being co-authored by Democratic members of the Assembly based in San Diego and Santa Barbara.

Tuolumne County Supervisor Anaiah Kirk was at yesterday’s unveiling of the legislation in Sacramento after being invited to attend following a letter he wrote to the Insurance Commissioner.

Kirk wrote about his personal story of spending tens of thousands of dollars on home hardening and defensible space clearing and how it was not taken into consideration when his fire insurance was canceled.

Kirk tells Clarke Broadcasting he is glad to see some legislation proposed to acknowledge people’s due diligence to be fire-safe. He also praises fellow supervisor Sherri Brennan’s work on the issue and her helping to organize a town hall in Sonora last year attended by Lara.

However, Kirk also feels the Commissioner’s Office should more fully engage in conversations with the Rural Counties of California Representatives (RCRC) organization that has been working on fire insurance-related solutions, rather than lawmakers based in Los Angeles and San Diego.

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