Residential insurance coverage for more than 325,000 policyholders who have been affected by devastating wildfires across 22 Northern California counties will be preserved for at least a few months after Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a mandatory one-year moratorium Monday requiring insurance companies to uphold these policies.
According to a release, issued by the California Department of Insurance, this Order protects those living within the perimeter or adjoining ZIP Code of a declared wildfire disaster regardless of whether they suffered a loss, including the Dixie, Caldor, River, Tamarack, Antelope, McFarland, Monument, Fly, and Cache fires.
“Climate change-fueled wildfires continue to devastate homeowners and communities. My moratorium orders help provide short-term relief as we address the root causes of these ever-intensifying natural disasters,” said Commissioner Lara. “This California law empowers my office to help give people the breathing room they desperately need as they recover. I will both continue to enforce this law to protect consumers and continue working to create long-term solutions.
The Commissioner’s ability to issue moratoriums is a result of a California law he authored in 2018 while serving as state senator, according to the release, in order to provide temporary relief from non-renewals to residents living within or adjacent to a declared wildfire disaster.
The moratorium order issued on Monday follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s six emergency declarations this summer and gives protection from insurance company-initiated non-renewals for one year for residential property insurance policies in ZIP codes within or adjacent to the fire perimeter, including parts of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Glen, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, and Yuba counties.
“Consumers’ one year of protection from non-renewal starts on the date of the Governor’s emergency declaration that included the fire affecting them,” read the release.
Consumers can go to the California Department of Insurance website to see if their ZIP code is included in the moratorium. Individuals that believe their insurance company is in violation of this law, or have claim-related questions can call 1-800-927-4357.
For more information, visit www.insurance.ca.gov.