header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly clear
Mostly clear
53°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 11
1920 - Warrant issued for actor Tom Mix to appear in Newhall Judge J.F. Powell's courtroom on reckless driving charge [story]
Tom Mix


| Thursday, Dec 5, 2019
Army veteran Matthew Green searches the debris for salvageable items in the living room of his home on Saturday that burned in the Tick Fire in Canyon Country last month. | Photo: Dan Watson/The Signal.
Army veteran Matthew Green searches the debris for salvageable items in the living room of his home on Saturday that burned in the Tick Fire in Canyon Country last month. | Photo: Dan Watson/The Signal.

 

OAKLAND — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a mandatory one-year moratorium Thursday on insurance companies non-renewing policyholders – helping at least 800,000 homes in wildfire disaster areas in Northern and Southern California.

The commissioner’s action is the result of Senate Bill 824 — authored last year by Lara while serving as state senator — in order to give temporary relief from non-renewals to residents living near a declared wildfire disaster. This is the first time the department has invoked the new law, which took effect in January.

Because the homeowner insurance crisis extends beyond the wildfire perimeters and impacts residents statewide, Commissioner Lara went a step further and called on insurance companies to voluntarily cease all non-renewals related to wildfire risk statewide until December 5, 2020, in the wake of Governor Gavin Newsom’s declaration of statewide emergency due to fires and extreme weather conditions. A statewide moratorium would provide all California homeowners, renters, and businesses peace of mind, and allow time for stakeholders to come together to work on lasting solutions, help reduce wildfire risk, and stabilize the insurance market.

“This wildfire insurance crisis has been years in the making, but it is an emergency we must deal with now if we are going to keep the California dream of home ownership from becoming the California nightmare, as an increasing number of homeowners struggle to find coverage,” said Commissioner Lara. “I am calling on insurance companies to push the pause button on issuing non-renewals for one year to give breathing room to communities and homeowners while they adapt and mitigate risks, give the Legislature time to work on additional lasting solutions, and allow California’s insurance market to stabilize.”

Commissioner Lara announced the action at a home in Oakland alongside local leaders from affected areas and consumer advocates, following months of meetings across the state with county officials, community leaders, and more than 2,000 homeowners who have been non-renewed and struggled to find new coverage.

“As communities across California continue to recover from wildfires and natural disasters, insurance companies are critical partners in helping our communities rise up,” said Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore, who serves as second vice president of the California State Association of Counties. “The inability to obtain insurance after disaster strikes impacts home values and tax revenues for emergency services that help ensure the integrity of California communities. On behalf of Sonoma County and every county statewide navigating the rebuilding and recovery process, we call on our insurance partners to help us move toward a more resilient future.”

The mandatory one-year moratorium covers more than 800,000 residential policies in ZIP Codes adjacent to recent wildfire disasters under the newly enacted Senate Bill 824 (Lara, Chapter 616, Statutes of 2018), also known as the Wildfire Safety and Recovery Act. While existing law prevents non-renewals for those who suffer a total loss, the new law established protection for those living adjacent to a declared wildfire emergency who did not suffer a total loss—recognizing for the first time in law the disruption that non-renewals cause in communities following wildfire disasters.

“Home insurance is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. Yet for hundreds of thousands of Californians it’s become almost impossible to find and afford. This puts people between a rock and a hard place, and communities up and down the state are hurting,” said Amy Bach, Executive Director of United Policyholders. “At United Policyholders we are doing all we can to help consumers deal with this situation and we thank Commissioner Lara for authoring the moratorium bill and agreeing to take further action with a statewide voluntary moratorium.”

Following Governor Newsom’s emergency declarations in October, the Department of Insurance partnered with CAL-FIRE and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to identify wildfire perimeters and adjacent ZIP codes within the mandatory moratorium area. Today’s bulletin includes seven of the 16 wildfires within state-declared emergency areas, and CAL-FIRE is working to identify perimeters for the remaining nine fires, which the Department of Insurance will announce in a separate bulletin.

Commissioner Lara’s action comes amid growing evidence that homeowner insurance has become more difficult for Californians to obtain from traditional markets, forcing them into more expensive, less comprehensive options such as the FAIR Plan that do not offer the same level of coverage or protections.

In August, the Department of Insurance released data revealing insurance companies are dropping an increasing number of residents in areas with high wildfire risk. The number of non-renewals rose by more than 10% last year in seven counties from San Diego to Sierra—a direct response to California’s recent devastating wildfires. The number of consumers covered by the FAIR Plan—California’s insurer of last resort —has surged in areas with high wildfire risk. According to the U.S. Forest Service, more than 3.6 million California households are located in the wildland urban interface where wildfires are most likely to occur.

Thursday’s action builds on Commissioner Lara’s order last month to modernize the FAIR Plan and strengthens our insurance safety net. No later than June 1, 2020, the FAIR Plan will expand its coverage to offer a full homeowners policy in addition to its current limited fire-only policy. By April 1, 2020, the FAIR Plan will increase the Dwelling Fire combined policy limit from $1.5 million to $3 million, in recognition of higher home values. By February 1, 2020, the FAIR Plan will offer a monthly payment plan without fees and allow people to pay by credit card or electronic funds transfer without fees.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Suzette Groenke says:

    I live in Santa Clarita and our homeowners insurance went up 40% after the Tick Fire….and we are suppose to continue to afford insurance.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, May 10, 2021
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: County Reaches 24,000 Deaths; SCV Cases Total 27,798
On Monday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed four new deaths and 179 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 27,798 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Monday, May 10, 2021
Children Age 12-15 OK’ed for COVID-19 Vaccine
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15 Monday.
Monday, May 10, 2021
May 12: Enrollment for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Opens this Week
Starting Wednesday, May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to enroll in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program which sets out to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1920 - Warrant issued for actor Tom Mix to appear in Newhall Judge J.F. Powell's courtroom on reckless driving charge [story]
Tom Mix
On Monday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed four new deaths and 179 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 27,798 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: County Reaches 24,000 Deaths; SCV Cases Total 27,798
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office has reported 10 productions filming in the Santa Clarita Valley aka "Hollywood North" the week of Monday, May 10-16, 2021.
Filming This Week in SCV: ‘Good Trouble,’ ‘For All Mankind,’ ‘The Terminal List,’ 5 More Productions
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15 Monday.
Children Age 12-15 OK’ed for COVID-19 Vaccine
Starting Wednesday, May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to enroll in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program which sets out to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic.
May 12: Enrollment for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Opens this Week
The Tom & Ethel Bradley Center at California State University, Northridge has received a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize some of the approximately 22,000 images in its Farmworker Movement Collection that tell the story and document efforts to unionize farmworkers in the 1960s and early 1970s.
CSUN Receives NEH Grant to Digitize its Farmworker Movement Collection
Saugus Union School District board members discussed a back-to-school update for the 2021-22 school year during the regular board meeting Wednesday.
SUSD Discusses Full-Time Instruction, Distance Learning for Next Year
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor has announced plans to reopen on Saturday, with a number of COVID-19 safety measures in place.
Hurricane Harbor Plans to Reopen May 15
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday he’d be expanding the state’s economic stimulus program to middle-income families that make up to $75,000.
Newsom Expands State Stimulus Program, Unveils $100 Billion Recovery Plan
Warmer weather and winds are set to return to the Santa Clarita Valley Tuesday, bringing with them elevated fire weather conditions.
Winds Set to Bring Elevated Fire Weather to SCV
America’s Job Center of California announced it will host a job recruitment on Thursday, May 13 for various positions for Aerotek in Palmdale, Santa Clarita, and Lancaster.
America’s Job Center to Hold Virtual Job Recruitment for Aerotek
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit investigators are asking for the public’s help locating At-Risk Missing Person Christopher William Conrad.
Investigators Seek Help Locating At-Risk Missing Person Christopher ‘Chris’ Conrad
1877 - Newhall School District formed, upon petition of J.F. Powell and 47 others [story]
Newhall School kids
1990 - Gene Autry's elderly horse, Champion, put to sleep; buried at Melody Ranch [story]
Champion
1875 - John F. Powell, an Irish immigrant, becomes Justice of the Peace [story]
John F. Powell
Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced the introduction of Senate Joint Resolution 5, urging the federal government to immediately pass a correction to the Social Security formula to protect benefits for millions of Americans who turned 60 during the pandemic.
Wilk Introduces Resolution Urging Congress to Amend the Social Security Average Wage Index
The Santa Clarita City Council will consider allocating a little over $3.5 million in federal funding intended to support low- and moderate-income residents with decent and affordable housing and economic opportunities.
City Council to Consider Federal Funds in Support of Future Local Affordable Housing
The owners of Maria’s Italian Deli in Newhall, past and present, celebrated the restaurant’s reopening Wednesday, following last year’s announcement it would be closing its doors after 47 years.
Maria’s Italian Deli Celebrates Reopening Under New Owners
After publicly expressing their support for hosting live graduations earlier this year, William S. Hart Union High School District officials outlined their proposed plans for the Class of 2021 ceremonies during their Wednesday night governing board meeting.
Hart District Outlines Plans for Live Graduations
After plans fell through for a $100 million mall expansion that would have brought a second Costco to the Santa Clarita Valley, representatives from the big box retailer reached out to city officials to see if they could still make a second location a reality.
Costco Still Seeks Second Location in SCV
Nurses Week is underway and the Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN) is calling on registered nurse volunteers to assist with Covid-19 vaccinations at the Kedren Community Health Center in partnership with International Medical Corps.
RNRN Calls on Nurse Volunteers to Administer Covid-19 Vaccine Doses
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced it will begin a phased reopening of jail visitations at the Century Regional Detention Facility starting on Mother’s Day weekend, with all other locations predicted to reopen in June.
May 8: LASD Announce Jail Visitations to Resume at Century Regional Detention Facility
Calling all high school and college seniors – the city of Santa Clarita Arts and Events Division is seeking 2021 graduates to exhibit their 2021 graduation caps in a virtual gallery.
June 1: Deadline Set to Enter City’s Virtual Graduation Cap Photo Exhibition
On Friday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed 16 new deaths and 421 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 27,766 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Daily Hospitalizations Hit New Low in LA County; 27,766 Total SCV Cases
%d bloggers like this: