Democratic Candidate for United States Congress District CA-18 Rishi Kumar* issued the following statement regarding California Fire Insurance:
"The Kincade fire forced the evacuation of over 180,000 people. We have seen the rapid pace at which fires can cause immense damage and harm to the people of this state and their homes.
During my district listening tour, I met with community members of the cities of San Mateo County, including those from Loma Mar, La Honda, and Pescadero, as well as members from cities of Santa Cruz County such as Bonny Doon, Felton, Zayante, Lompico, Ben Lomond, Brookdale, and Boulder Creek. One of the main concerns residents had was the vulnerability of their property and their community to natural disasters such as wild fires and the fact that insurance companies are balking at fire coverage policy renewals in high risk areas.
Unlike Earthquake Insurance, which is protected and available to every California through the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), Fire Insurance coverage is offered by private insurance companies. These communities have seen their fire insurance plans go un-renewed given the recent impact of California fires upon communities. A recent news item mentioned over 340,000 rural home-owners in the most vulnerable areas of the state have lost fire insurance.
In order to ensure that those who need Fire Insurance the most are protected, we must adopt a model similar to that of the CEA for Fire Insurance. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection ought to provide fire-insurance directly to consumers. This way, we maximize coverage and provide certainty to California families."
*Rishi Kumar is running for U.S Congress’ California District 18 seat against Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. Currently a hi-tech executive and councilmember of Saratoga, Rishi is running on a platform of citizen-centric values, the only Democratic candidate rejecting PAC money and Special Interest Group campaign contributions, and addressing some of the tough challenges of the valley such as healthcare, safety, transportation, and climate change. Rishi’s priorities for District 18 are explained on his campaign home page.
Update August 2020
California FAIR Plan will insure any property, many property owners prefer a private market alternative due to coverage options and cost support. I support ASSEMBLY BILL 2167 and SENATE BILL 292. Assembly Bill (AB) 2167 would make it easier for insurers to write more insurance policies in high risk areas through the creation of the Insurance Market Action Plan that insurers would file with the Insurance Commissioner for eligible properties rates, a plan for maintaining insurer solvency, and mitigation requirements. Senate Bill (SB) 292 (a companion bill to AB 2167) would support AB 2167 by providing guidelines and criteria for the mitigation required as part of Insurance Market Action Plan application.