SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Assemblywoman Monique Limón joined others to introduce legislation providing homeowners a pathway to reduce fire risk on their property with guaranteed access to homeowners' insurance.
Renew California (Assembly Bill 2367) would require insurance companies to write or renew policies for existing homes in communities that meet a new statewide standard for fire-hardening.
The bill also would authorize the Insurance Commissioner to require insurance companies to offer financial incentives for homeowners to do the work to make their homes more fire-safe.
The bill focuses on insurance companies that have been writing fewer homeowner policies and sharply increasing non-renewals of homes with wildfire risk across the state—a response to several years of devastating wildfires.
“Since the Thomas Fire in 2017, homeowners in my district have been heavily affected by the unprecedented rates of insurance non-renewals even when the community has been working towards reducing the risk,” Limon said. “I am proud to joint-author this bill that works towards creating a fair structure for insurance companies to follow while protecting homeowners and providing them peace of mind.”
The law would apply only to existing homes, whose owners are facing an abrupt change in insurance availability related to wildfire risk.
"Homeowners who have done all the right things, hardening their homes and mitigating for fire danger, are still seeing their insurance cancelled or non-renewed,” said co-sponsor Assmb. Lorena Gonzalez.
The issue is also backed by the state Insurance Commissioner. "Lack of homeowners' insurance has sparked a wildfire “domino effect” that disrupts real estate markets and threatens the property tax base that local communities rely on to fund emergency services and more. “We need insurance companies to renew their commitment to wildfire safety with incentives that will allow Californians to lower risk while stopping the domino effect of unstable real estate markets and a declining local tax base for vital services,” Ricardo Lara said.
AB 2367 also has support from the California Professional Firefighters, California State Firefighters’ Association, Consumer Attorneys of California and the Consumer Federation of California