Governor Signs Sen. Dodd’s Insurance Adjuster Standards Bill
SACRAMENTO –Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, announced today that Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed his legislation to eliminate the confusion and delays caused by uninformed, out-of-state or multiple insurance adjusters during the 2017 North Bay wildfires.
Senate Bill 240 requires the California Department of Insurance to produce information on the most significant state insurance laws related to disasters and set training standards for agents handling catastrophic events. It also mandates that insurers provide a single point of contact for customers to make processing claims easier.
“I thank Gov. Newsom for signing this bill, which will improve the often frustrating experience of filing an insurance claim,” Sen. Dodd said. “We heard numerous complaints after the 2017 wildfires about insurance industry practices that unnecessarily extended processing time and really, re-victimized the victims. This new law will prevent that from happening again when the next fire or disaster strikes.”
SB 240, which would become the Insurance Adjuster Act of 2019, is supported by The California Department of Insurance as well as state and local consumer advocates. It was signed by Gov. Newsom late Thursday.
“Dealing with the insurance adjusters was frustrating,” said Stuart Funk of Napa, who lost his home in the 2017 wildfires. “It was like playing Who’s on First? They ran about three people from Oklahoma at us. Just when I had a rapport with one adjuster, I was talking to a new guy who needed the whole story again. Continuity is extremely important and I thank Sen. Dodd for his effort to stop this poor treatment.”
“In many cases, wildfire survivors turned to their insurers for help and encountered only obstacles,” said Ronit Rubinoff, executive director of Legal Aid of Sonoma County. “It shouldn’t be like that. I commend Gov. Newsom and Sen. Dodd for taking this important step toward removing barriers to recovery.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Solano, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties. More information on Senator Bill Dodd can be found at www.senate.ca.gov/dodd.