California Commissioner Issues Non-Renewal Moratorium to Aid Policyholders Affected by Wildfires
California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara on Thursday issued a mandatory one-year moratorium on insurance companies from non-renewing or cancelling residential property insurance policies.
The action is intended to aid more than 25,000 policyholders who have been affected by the Lava Fire and the Beckwourth Complex Fire in Siskiyou, Plumas and Lassen counties. This includes more than 20,000 consumers who were already covered under last year’s moratorium, effectively extending their protection for several more months.
There are over 10,000 firefighters battling unprecedented blazes in California.
“No one should have to scramble to find fire insurance after suffering the effects of a wildfire,” Lara said in a statement. “I created this new protection after learning from wildfire survivors how some insurance companies dropped their coverage even as they worked to recover.”
The commissioner’s ability to issue moratoriums is a result of a California law he authored in 2018 while a state senator to provide temporary relief from non-renewals to residents living within or adjacent to a declared wildfire disaster.
Lara’s moratorium order follows Gov. Gavin Newsom’s emergency declaration on July 16 for the Lava Fire and the Beckwourth Complex Fire, and gives insurer-initiated non-renewal protections for one year for residential property insurance policies in ZIP codes within or adjacent to the fire perimeter.
This is the third year that Lara has implemented the moratorium law.