Insurance

Wildfires Survivors in California Now Protected Against Insurance Non-renewals Under a New California Law

Wildfires Survivors in California Now Protected Against Insurance Non-renewals Under a New California Law

Insurance companies have been directed to uphold 209,881 residential property insurance policies held by wildfire survivors as part of an emergency declaration issued on October 22, by Commissioner Ricardo Lara. This directive brings the total number of policyholders protected from non-renewals or cancellations by their insurance companies to 618,700 across 31 counties.

The directive covers the River Complex, French, Washington, Windy, KNP Complex, and Hopkins wildfires, and protects homeowners who live inside the perimeter or adjacent ZIP Codes of the proclaimed wildfire disasters, regardless of whether they have sustained a loss.

Commissioner Lara’s ability to issue residential insurance policyholder moratoriums stems from a California statute he crafted in 2018 while serving as a state senator to allow temporary respite from non-renewals to individuals residing near or within a proclaimed wildfire disaster.

The Commissioner’s action is within a broader plan to protect customers, which includes improving insurance coverage and increasing market competition.

Residential property insurance policies in 115 ZIP Codes within or adjacent to the established fire perimeter, including parts of Calaveras, Del Norte, Fresno, Humboldt, Inyo, Kern, Lake, Mendocino, Shasta, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Trinity, Tulare, and Tuolumne counties, are protected from insurance company-initiated non-renewals and cancellations for one year under the moratorium order, which follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s October 22 emergency declaration.

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The Commissioner’s previous moratorium orders followed Governor Newsom’s July 16, July 23, August 5, August 10, August 17, August 30, September 7, and September 27 Declarations affecting parts of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Glen, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba counties.

Homeowners can check if their ZIP Code is covered by an active moratorium on the California Department of Insurance’s website. If consumers suspect their insurance provider is breaking the law or have more claims-related inquiries, they should contact the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357 or by chat or email at insurance.ca.gov.

The Author

Oladotun Olayemi

Dotun is a financial enthusiast who specializes in first-in-class financial content, including crypto, blockchain, market, and business, to educate and inform readers.