California legislators fail to repair home insurance market before end of session

Home insurance - Failure and frustration

Though several deals arrived at the last moment, none of them included the sought-after proposal.

Even as a slew of deals appeared at the last moment ahead of the close of California’s legislative session, none were the home insurance market fix many were waiting for to help keep insurers in the state despite the rapidly climbing wildfire risks.

The key deadline came and went without a bill that would help to stave off a crisis in the state.

As a new home insurance bill didn’t appear in the last session, the effort is now held off for another year, despite the labors of certain key legislative leaders such as Governor Gavin Newsome and Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.

Home insurance - Finding a Balance

Negotiators were working on attempting to establish a balance between easing the insurance system’s regulation brought to its very edge, and keeping up homeowner protections as they face climbing premiums to keep the industry stabilized. Politically, this came with substantial tensions.

As a result, no solid progress was made in moving the home insurance market into a better situation.

Now that the session has ended, the Legislature won’t be headed back to Sacramento again until the start of 2024. This means that the issue will not be resolved in time for the next fire season. That said, it is likely that hearings will be held and there is potential for regulatory changes to take place in coming months. This could mean that when the Legislature does return, the conversation could be notably different than what lawmakers faced during the last session.

“That’s the progress we’ve made here,” said Department of Insurance spokesperson Michael Soller. He went on to say that repairing the home insurance market is a state throughout the government of California.

Newsom recently spoke in an interview, saying that his administration contains a working group focusing on this “waving red flag issue” for the last several months, on top of the debates being held in the Legislature.

“So we’ve gamed out some different strategies,” said Newsom, without providing specific details as to whether a special legislative session would be held this fall, or if an executive order might be on the way. “We can do a lot of things. And I’m very mindful. We can do all of that.”

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