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Jones vows to fight industry assault on proposed solutions to protect wildfire survivors

News: 2018 Press Release

For Release: April 25, 2018
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Jones vows to fight industry assault on proposed solutions to protect wildfire survivors
Joined by Senators Dodd, McGuire and North Bay fire survivors to tell their stories to Legislators at today’s Senate Insurance Committee hearing
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Taking his fight to the Capitol today, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is rallying with Senators Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, and Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to take on the insurance industry head on, as insurers work the Capitol hallways in advance of today's Senate Insurance Committee hearing lobbying to kill or water down the legislative package proposed to protect survivors of last year's devastating wildfires that struck in the fall and provide protection for future survivors of natural disasters covered by homeowners insurance.

"Insurers are pulling out all the stops to defeat our efforts to provide wildfire survivors and homeowners peace of mind when disaster strikes," said Commissioner Jones. "Thousands of Sonoma and Napa area residents lost everything and survived the fires only to face more emotional distress, as they were faced with trying to create detailed inventories or discovered they were underinsured and may not have enough to rebuild their homes. This is about doing the right thing for consumers who buy their homeowner policy believing they have enough coverage to rebuild should the worst happen, pay their premiums faithfully, and then find they are coming up short when disaster strikes."

Senator Mike McGuire and Senator Bill Dodd both hail from the affected areas and know first-hand the toll these disasters have taken on their constituents and their communities. Their bills are reasonable and address current shortcomings that have left so many residents on the short end of the claims process.

McGuire's bill, SB 897 would require insurers to pay 80 percent of the limit of a policyholder's personal property coverage with no requirement for a written inventory. Dodd's bill, SB 894 would allow policyholders to combine various coverages within their homeowner policy to pay any covered losses.

As the number and severity of wildfires has increased over the past five years, California residents face the increasing reality that they are at risk for a devastating loss. Commissioner Jones and Senators McGuire and Dodd are focused on making common sense changes to the law that help make sure homeowners have some peace of mind when they have to recover from a wildfire or other disaster covered by their homeowner policy.

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Media Notes:
  • The Senate Insurance Committee meets today at 1:30 p.m. in hearing room 112.
  • Commissioner Jones and Senators McGuire and Dodd are holding a press conference with wildfire survivors outside the rear Senate Chamber doors (near room 215) at 12:30 p.m. today.  

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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