Legislature Approves Senator Dodd’s Insurance Reform Bill
SACRAMENTO – Despite intense insurance industry lobbying, lawmakers on Friday approved a bill from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that will help victims of disasters such as wildfires recover losses from their insurance companies.
“Ultimately, this bill makes important improvements that will help people rebuild their homes and help communities recover,” Senator Dodd said. “While we fought for even greater protections for victims who’ve had to struggle with their insurers, this bill will help consumers going forward. I will continue fighting for reforms to stop insurance companies from stacking the deck against policyholders.”
Senate Bill 894 allows people who suffered losses relating to a declared state of emergency to combine policy limits to rebuild their dwelling and other structures. It also extends to 36 months the time to receive living expenses. And it requires insurance companies to extend policy renewal offers for two years.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, a sponsor of SB 894, said it brings relief to disaster survivors despite the insurance industry’s attempts to water it down.
“We all owe it to fire survivors to do everything possible to get them back on their feet and cut through the bureaucratic red tape and Kafkaesque hassles of insurers that survivors so often encounter after losing everything,” Commissioner Jones said. “Senator Dodd’s bill helps do just that. I’m pleased to have sponsored this bill and enjoyed working closely with Senator Dodd on this important issue to help these families recover as quickly as possible.”
The bill was co-authored by Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg. It heads next to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.
Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.