Bill Introduced to Offer All Californians Homeowners Insurance, Fund Home Hardening

Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, on Thursday introduced legislation designed to require mandatory issuance of…

Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, on Thursday introduced legislation designed to require mandatory issuance of homeowners’ insurance and establish a grant program to harden residential properties in areas prone to wildfires.

Assembly Bill 1755 would require an insurance provider licensed in the state to issue an insurance policy to a homeowner that has taken “science-based actions “to harden their property from wildfire risk.

The requirement is set to begin in 2025.

Levine’s bill would also create the Wildfire Protection Grant Program under the California Department of Insurance that would administer grants to residential property owners of up to $10,000 to help pay for costs associated with home hardening and wildfire mitigation improvements.

Levine’s is designed to address insurance policy cancellations of homeowners who may live in an area considered at risk to wildfire.

“It is time to stand up for California homeowners and tell insurance companies to stop exploiting the climate crisis for profit,” Levine said in a statement. “We have seen an unprecedented number of families across California lose their homeowners’ insurance at a time they need this protection the most. For families that do the right thing and take action to reduce their home’s risk to wildfire loss, there is no reason to deny them insurance coverage.”

He continued: “The climate crisis is forcing us to rethink how and where we live and grow. Meeting this crisis will require insurance companies to do their part to protect homeowners and ensure that every California family has access to affordable, comprehensive insurance.”

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association provided the following comment on behalf of Mark Sektnan, APCIA vice president for state government relations:

“APCIA is reviewing the bill but we are opposed to any bill that mandates insurance companies provide insurance without adequate rates and without science-based verification the risk has been reduced.”

Sektnan noted that organizations like the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety are leading efforts to “develop science-based mitigation standards that actually reduce risk.”

“The bill also ignores the need for community hardening efforts,” he said. “In the absence of community hardening, home hardening can be far less effective. Embers travel miles, igniting homes randomly. We must have a comprehensive community and individual mitigation effort along with a verifiable risk reduction process.”

AB 1755 is expected to be considered by the Assembly in Spring.

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