FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The approval of the nation’s first wildfire safety regulation could bring down the cost of wildfire insurance in California by scoring every house by its wildfire risk.
Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s new regulation requires insurance companies to provide discounts to consumers under the Safer from Wildfires framework created by the California Department of Insurance (in partnership with the state emergency preparedness agencies).
Insurance companies are now required to submit new rate filings incorporating wildfire safety standards created by the department, as well as establishing a process for releasing wildfire risk determinations to residents and businesses within 180 days.
This regulation gives consumers new transparency as it requires insurance companies to provide them with their properties’ wildfire risk score and the right to appeal that score.
This regulation was written to protect consumers and improve market competition after hearing from consumers and business owners about their frustrations with insurance companies that did not consider wildfire protection in their rating plans. Many said they were subject to wildfire risk scores that didn’t know existed and had no way of appealing.