Sen. Dodd’s Insurance Claims Streamlining Bill Wins Senate Approval
SACRAMENTO -- Legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would streamline residential insurance claims for victims of disasters such as wildfires was approved by the Senate today with overwhelming support.
“With all the challenges facing Californians right now including the coronavirus pandemic, those who suffer damage or loss of a home due to wildfire should not be hit with unnecessary insurance company delays,” Sen. Dodd said. “This bill brings peace of mind, ensuring people aren’t buried under mountains of insurance company paperwork to get coverage for living expenses and temporary housing. That is especially important with the continuing wildfire threat. I thank my Senate colleagues for supporting this bill.”
Senate Bill 872, sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, expands the definition of additional living expenses that must be paid to homeowners for losses incurred in a state of emergency. Upon submission of a claim, it requires an advance payment of no less than four months for costs such as housing, furniture rental and transportation. Also, it mandates an advance payment of no less than 25 percent of a policy limit for lost contents without submission of an inventory form.
“Wildfires are not going to wait for the COVID-19 crisis to end, and we must guarantee future wildfire survivors have the time and resources they need to recover,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “I thank Sen. Dodd for authoring this legislation and thank the Senate for understanding the need of this legislation to ensure access to insurance benefits without red tape.”
The bill, coauthored by Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, makes insurers give homeowners a 60-day grace period for payment of residential premiums after an emergency. Also, insurance companies will be barred from deducting the land value from payouts for those who build on new lots.
SB 872 passed the Senate on a 29-3 vote.
Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.