CA | The California Department of Insurance has issued the following Notice:
As wildfires continue to rage across California this summer, burning homes while displacing thousands of residents, I am reminding residential property insurers that Insurance Code Section 675.1(b)(1), as enacted by Senate Bill 824 (Lara, Chapter 616, Statutes of 2018), prohibits insurers from non-renewing or cancelling policies of residential property insurance for residential properties in ZIP Codes within or adjacent to a fire perimeter for one year following a Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency.
On July 16, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency covering the counties of Siskiyou, Plumas, and Lassen due to wildfires in those counties. The fires specifically addressed in this declaration include the Lava Fire, Dotta Fire, Sugar Fire, and the Beckwourth Complex Fire (which was a merger of the Dotta and Sugar Fires). As required by statute, I am coordinating with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) to identify the various fires and fire perimeters that are subject to the one-year moratorium for residential property owners. This prohibition applies to all policies of residential property insurance in effect at the time of the declared emergency. As soon as the fires are sufficiently contained and necessary data is obtained to determine the fire perimeters and which ZIP Codes are within or adjacent to the impacted fire perimeters, I will issue a subsequent Bulletin informing insurers of the ZIP Codes that fall within the Section 675.1(b)(1) moratorium.
In the meantime, to avoid the need to reverse any adverse policy action after the Section 675.1(b) (2) Bulletin is issued, insurers should refrain from issuing any notice of non-renewal or cancellation for any policy of residential property insurance in effect on July 16, 2021 that covers property in any known active wildfire areas in the state.