SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The following statement regarding today’s press event on new wildfire legislation introduced by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and several North Bay legislators can be attributed to Mark Sektnan, vice president, state government relations for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
“The 2017 unprecedented wildfires in Northern and Southern California brought the largest loss of life and destruction of property in the state’s history with more than $9 billion in claims so far. However, insurance is the economic catalyst that will rebuild and revitalize these communities.
“Insurance is designed to assist homeowners who experience catastrophic losses and insurers are diligently working with thousands of policyholders to settle claims, develop rebuilding plans and return their lives to normal. Additionally, many insurers implemented the commissioner’s expedited claims handling procedures to jump start policyholders’ recovery. These expedited procedures include advancing payment of additional living expenses, advanced payment of personal property coverage and expedited debris removal. Insurers are working with each policyholder to settle their unique claim and help them make the best decisions for their recovery.
“We look forward to reviewing this wildfire recovery legislative package and working with the commissioner and these legislators. Our goal is to develop measures that will protect policyholders and improve the recovery process without creating unintended consequences that damage California’s highly competitive homeowners insurance marketplace.
“Insurers must be able to maintain underwriting controls in order to provide the wide variety of insurance products that help protect consumers. If underwriting tools are limited, consumers could be harmed and face fewer options to meet their specific insurance needs. Insurers must also retain the tools necessary to manage their solvency to pay claims.
“Each catastrophic event provides new lessons and insurers adapt accordingly to improve the claims process. Insurers are committed to working with policymakers to design feasible legislation that helps policyholders while keeping California’s insurance market functioning and healthy.”