Commissioner Lara reminds state to review California insurance coverage

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The recommendation is to know exactly what is covered from floods and mudslides caused by wildfires.

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has issued a formal notice to insurers to inform them that it is their legal duty to provide California insurance coverage for any future disaster such as mudslides caused by the recent wildfires.

Those wildfires have left hillsides weakened, increasing risks such as mudslides and flooding.

Residents in wildfire burn areas who are at an even higher vulnerability are being advised to check their California insurance coverage to be familiar with precisely what is covered. Many homeowners remain unaware that there is typically an exclusion to flood, mudslide, debris flow and other types of similar damaging events on standard policies. That said, there is an exception when those events have been directly or indirectly caused by a recent wildfire or other natural disaster that is covered by the policy.

California insurance - Natural Disaster Policy

To help consumers to know precisely what they should expect from their policies, the Department of Insurance has posted a fact sheet. This is meant to answer some of the most common questions about coverage in the state.

The commissioner has made California insurance changes due to evolving risks from climate change.

“With continued winter storms threatening areas already damaged by wildfires, it’s critical to know how you are protected especially if you are living in a more vulnerable area,” said California Insurance Commissioner Lara, creator of the California Climate Insurance Working Group, with its goal of creating sustainable solutions for combatting the impact of climate change. This includes efforts to lower the risks faced by communities vulnerable to powerful storms, flooding and atmospheric rivers.

“I am alerting insurance companies to follow California law requiring they cover any mudslide, debris flow, or other damage that is caused by our recent wildfires so that people can recover quickly,” said Lara.

The sheer scale of the wildfires that have blazed their way across the state and the current flooding risk is behind the decision from the Department of Insurance to issue the preemptive notice to insurers in the state and remind consumers of their protection.

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