On March 20th the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management and Senate Insurance Committee held and informational hearing titled, “Drought, Climate Change and Fire: How is the California Homeowners Insurance Market Responding.” The purpose of the hearing was to bring stakeholders from the Department of Insurance, CALFIRE, Rural County representatives, and Insurance Association representatives to discuss how the drought, extended wildfire season, and above average temperatures impacted various cities and counties in California. The intent of the hearing was to discuss the current state of residential insurance, whether homeowners are adequately insured against the ongoing threat of wildfires and how the Fair Access to Insurance Requirement Plan and surplus line market are able to fill gaps in the insurance market.
The discussion focused mostly on the current cost of premiums in the marketplace and coverage for Californians and less so on the efforts to rebuild moving forward. It appears as though the legislature is moving through the evaluation process step-by-step and we hope will be moving into the next phase of the discussion, namely funding rebuild efforts soon. There are a number of bills moving through the legislative process (please see document released by the Department of Insurance on 3.27) that seek to address many of the concerns and challenges currently facing many California residents.
We will continue to monitor future hearings and legislation and will work with committee staff to identify opportunities for collaborative conversations focused on rebuild efforts.