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CA Hearing on Insurance Availability and Affordability in High-Fire Areas Like Topanga

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Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard, Topanga!
Posted: October 11, 2020, 10:30 p.m.

On Monday, October 19, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara is convening a virtual investigatory hearing about possible changes to existing insurance regulations and practices with the goal of addressing the pervasive and increasing challenges that homeowners face when seeking and maintaining insurance in high wildfire risk regions of California, especially in light of climate change.

Commissioner Lara has broad rulemaking authority to regulate insurance rates. Lara has the "authority to prevent excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory rates in California."

"I will consider options for how to address the continued rise in homeowners’ insurance non-renewals across the state while helping ensure the stability of the state’s insurance marketplace," Lara said in his announcement of the hearing. The hearing is intended to "provide the public with a deliberate and fair opportunity to discuss issues such as the following:

- Why are insurers declaring their own rates to be ‘inadequate’ and refusing to renew many homes in the wildland-urban interface, while at the same time these same insurers seek rate increases that are lower than California’s law permits?

- Why are insurance companies reluctant to take homeowner wildfire mitigation efforts into account when pricing residential property insurance? 

- How will climate change, including extreme heat events, continue to affect future homeowners’ insurance rates, availability of insurance and the financial health of our insurance market? 

- How – if at all – would the use of catastrophe modeling in ratemaking help to make homeowners’ insurance more affordable and more widely available to homeowners? 

- What other rules should the Commissioner adopt to obligate insurers to spread risk and sell more policies to those homeowners in the wildland-urban interface who seek to purchase and maintain homeowners’ insurance?"

For more information about the hearing, please visit the Insurance Commissioner's website. NOTE: the website indicates that the deadline for RSVPing has passed. However, those who wish to attend can still email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive a link to register. Written comments are also very welcome and should also be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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