Governor Brown signs department-sponsored bill to protect wildfire survivors
News: 2018 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today that a bill he sponsored to strengthen consumer protections for wildfire survivors has been signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown. Assembly Bill 1799, authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), requires insurers to provide one free, full set of policy documents, including any endorsements, and the policy declarations page within 30 calendar days of a covered loss, upon request of a policyholder.
"This legislation reinforces current law by requiring insurers to provide crucial policy information to wildfire survivors," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones."Making sure homeowners have enough information to make informed insurance coverage decisions and have the peace of mind insurance is meant to provide is critical. I thank the Governor for signing this bill and Assemblymember Levine for championing it in the Legislature to protect future wildfire survivors."
In 2017, California endured the most deadly and damaging fires in state history. After each major wildfire, insurance-related issues arise in the recovery process that negatively impact survivors attempting to rebuild their homes and property. One issue revealed by the North Bay fires was that insurers, although required by current law to provide consumers with a complete and current copy of their policy within 30 days of request, were only providing the declarations page of the policy documents. Without a full set of policy documents consumers do not know exactly what is covered under their insurance plan at the very moment they need this information most.
AB 1799 would specify an insurer must provide one complete, copy of an insurance policy for free within 30 days after a covered loss. The insurer must include all policy documents, including any endorsements and the declarations page. Furthermore, this bill would require an insurer to provide an electronic copy, in addition to the hard copy, upon request of the policyholder.
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 www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.