California Regulator, Insurers To Work Together On Fire Risk Mitigation Standards

 Thursday, September 17, 2020

 The Sacramento Bee

California’s insurance commissioner announced a plan to tackle the state’s wildfire insurance crisis Wednesday, saying the state will collaborate with the industry to develop standards for “hardening” homes and communities against fire risk.

Commissioner Ricardo Lara said his initiative is designed to give homeowners and communities greater incentives for tamping down wildfire risks.

He acknowledged it wouldn’t guarantee coverage for anyone, but said it could improve conditions so insurers would return to risky, fire-prone areas.

“We are seeing much more voracious fires,” Lara said on Capital Public Radio’s Insight program. “We can’t predict the future but what we can do is have a plan, and really understand ... what we need to do to bring down that risk.

“By doing that, we lessen the risk and keep the insurance industry within these communities,” he said. After insurers registered losses of $25 billion on California fires, they dropped 348,000 homeowners in high-risk areas from 2015 to 2018, the most recent figures available from Lara’s agency.
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