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California State Assembly Passes Wildfire-Related Insurance Bill

Source: The Press Democrat - Bill Swindell


Posted on 16 May 2018 by Neilson

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California State Assembly Passes Wildfire-Related Insurance BillThe state Assembly May 10 passed legislation Thursday that would ensure homeowners are regularly provided an updated replacement cost estimate to rebuild their home.

The chamber by a 77-0 vote approved AB 1797 sponsored by Assembly member Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, part of package by local lawmakers to address the aftermath of last year's wildfires, when many North Bay residents found themselves underinsured.

Levine argued the measure was needed because insurance companies are not mandated under law to produce or regularly update a replacement cost calculation for homeowners.

The bill would require carriers to provide a full replacement cost estimate every two years, or apply an inflation factor to increase the dwelling limit at each renewal and offer the option for a replacement cost estimate.

The Assembly late last month passed two other Levine insurance bills. One would mandate the specific information that insurance companies are required to provide to fire victims after a loss, including the full insurance policy, any endorsements to the policy and the policy declarations page.

The other would allow policyholders to use to use their additional coverage protections -- such as building code upgrades -- to rebuild on a different lot or buy a home at a different location after a total loss. Insurers can now withhold this coverage unless the owner rebuilds on the same lot.

The state Senate will now take up the bills.