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LOS ANGELES, Calif. Dec. 3, 2020— Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara added nearly 347,000 Los Angeles County policyholders affected by the area’s largest 2020 wildfire to the mandatory one-year moratorium on insurance companies non-renewing or cancelling residential property insurance policies—bringing the total to nearly 2.4 million policyholders statewide due to this year’s wildfires. The Commissioner’s action implements a California law that he authored in 2018 while serving as state senator in order to provide temporary relief from non-renewals to residents living within or adjacent to a declared wildfire emergency.
Today’s moratorium order follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s emergency declaration on September 25 for the Bobcat Fire, giving protection to homeowners for one year from that date for residential insurance policies located in ZIP codes within or adjacent to the fire perimeter. The Order includes foothill communities in Azusa, Monrovia, Arcadia, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, Altadena, Glendale, Covina, Baldwin Park, Claremont, La Crescenta, Upland, Sierra Madre, Glendora and others—as well as areas of Lancaster and Palmdale to the north.
Consumers can go to the California Department of Insurance website to see if their ZIP code is included in the moratorium.
“California’s devastating wildfires have affected millions of residents, and the last thing they need is to have to search for new insurance while they are still recovering,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “By pushing the pause button on non-renewals, we will give breathing room to wildfire-scarred communities and homeowners as we all adapt, take steps to mitigate risks, and find further solutions to help stabilize the insurance market.”
“After such a challenging year for so many of our Los Angeles County communities, this resource is deeply needed and appreciated,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Thank you to Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara for protecting hundreds of thousands of residents in my district, many of whom have been directly affected by the Bobcat Fire, as well as those in adjacent communities who will also be protected from insurance cancellations. This alleviates a significant burden by ensuring they have their insurance as they get back on their feet and is imperative to restore and protect our neighborhoods.”
“The impact of the recent wildfires from this year and last have taken a toll on our communities,” said Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby. “This period of relief for homeowners will provide everyone, including first responders, with the time and opportunity to examine how we can better protect and harden homes as well as widely share our findings and valuable information with others who have also been affected. Protecting lives and property is our mission – and so is ensuring our homeowners and property owners are ready for any and all major disasters.”
Following Governor Newsom’s emergency declaration, the Department of Insurance partnered with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) to identify wildfire perimeters for the mandatory moratorium area, pursuant to existing law. The Department of Insurance will continue to collaborate with CAL FIRE and CalOES to identify the perimeter of the Mountain View Fire in Mono County, which was included in Governor Newsom’s November 18 emergency declaration, and for any future fires where there is a declaration of a state of emergency.
Today’s Order also applies to policyholders in ZIP codes affected by the Oak Fire in Mendocino County and in ZIP codes located in Del Norte County affected by the Slater Fire.
- The mandatory one-year moratorium announced today covers nearly 347,000 residential policies in ZIP codes located within or adjacent to the Los Angeles County Bobcat Fire under the recently enacted Senate Bill 824 (Lara, Chapter 616, Statutes of 2018), also known as the Wildfire Safety and Recovery Act. While existing law prevents non-renewals and cancellations for those who suffer a total loss, the new law established protection for those living within or adjacent to a declared wildfire emergency who did not suffer a total loss—recognizing for the first time in law the disruption that non-renewals cause in communities following wildfire disasters.
- Consumers can go to the Department of Insurance website to find the Commissioner’s Bulletin to see if their ZIP code is included in this moratorium or the moratorium announced on November 5.
- Governor Newsom Declares State of Emergency in Del Norte, Los Angeles, and Mendocino Counties, Signs Order to Support Communities Impacted by Wildfires (September 25, 2020)