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Commissioner Lara Releases Final ZIP Codes Protected from Non-Renewals for 2020 Wildfires

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: December 31, 2020
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Commissioner Lara Releases Final ZIP Codes Protected from Non-Renewals for 2020 Wildfires
Additional 500 policyholders in Mono County bring total to 2.4 million statewide covered under mandatory one-year moratorium

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced that nearly 500 policyholders in six ZIP Codes affected by the Mountain View Fire in Mono County are included in the mandatory one-year moratorium on insurance companies non-renewing or cancelling residential property insurance policies—bringing the total to nearly 2.4 million policyholders covered under the statewide moratorium as a result of this year’s wildfires. Commissioner Lara’s action implements a California law that he authored in 2018 while serving as state senator in order to provide temporary relief from non-renewals to residents living within or adjacent to a declared wildfire emergency.

The areas added in today's Bulletin bring the total number of ZIP Codes covered by the Commissioner’s moratorium to 563 due to wildfires included in Governor Gavin Newsom's emergency declarations in 2020. The Mountain View Fire was included in Governor Newsom's November 18 emergency declaration.

“In a year that brought an unprecedented number of wildfires across the state, I implemented this critical consumer protection for millions of residents to help them recover," said Commissioner Lara. “This year, we took steps to address the long-term threats to Californians and, as we begin 2021, I will continue to work with local communities and state leaders to ensure a healthy insurance market for everyone.”

The Bulletin includes the communities of Coleville, Walker, Long Barn, Cold Springs, Bridgeport, Willow Springs, Markleeville, Paynesville, and Lee Vining, among others, as well as areas on the border of California and Nevada. Consumers can go to the Department of Insurance’s website to see if their ZIP Code is included in the moratorium.

Following Governor Newsom's November 18 emergency declaration, the Department of Insurance partnered with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) to identify wildfire perimeters for the mandatory moratorium area, pursuant to existing law. The Department of Insurance will continue to collaborate with CAL FIRE and CalOES to identify perimeters for any future wildfires where there is a declaration of a state of emergency.

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Media notes:

  • The mandatory one-year moratorium announced today covers nearly 500 residential policies in ZIP Codes located within or adjacent to the Mountain View Fire under the recently 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 and cancellations for those who suffer a total loss, the new law established protection for those living within or 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.
  • Consumers can go to the Department of Insurance website to find the Commissioner's Bulletin to see if their ZIP Code is included in this moratorium.
  • Governor Newsom Declares State of Emergency in Mono County Due to Fire (November 18, 2020).

Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at via webform or online chat. 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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