Insurance Protections Announced for Bobcat Fire Residents

Insurance Protections Announced for Bobcat Fire Residents

Taylor Martinez

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara Thursday announced the addition of nearly 347,000 Los Angeles County policyholders affected by the area’s largest 2020 wildfire — the Bobcat Fire — to the mandatory one-year moratorium on insurance companies non-renewing or canceling residential property insurance policies.

The action brings the total to nearly 2.4 million policyholders statewide due to this year’s wildfires, and implements a California law that Lara authored in 2018 while serving as state senator in order to provide temporary relief from non-renewals to residents living within or adjacent to a declared wildfire emergency.

Thursday’s moratorium order follows Gov. Gavin Newsom’s emergency declaration on Sept. 25 for the Bobcat Fire, giving protection to homeowners for one year from that date for residential insurance policies located in ZIP codes within or adjacent to the fire perimeter.

The order includes foothill communities in Azusa, Monrovia, Arcadia, La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, Altadena, Glendale, Covina, Baldwin Park, Claremont, La Crescenta, Upland, Sierra Madre, Glendora and others — as well as areas of Lancaster and Palmdale to the north.

Consumers can go to the California Department of Insurance website to see if their ZIP code is included in the moratorium.

“California’s devastating wildfires have affected millions of residents, and the last thing they need is to have to search for new insurance while they are still recovering,” Lara said in a statement.

“By pushing the pause button on non-renewals, we will give breathing room to wildfire-scarred communities and homeowners as we all adapt, take steps to mitigate risks and find further solutions to help stabilize the insurance market,” Lara said.

“After such a challenging year for so many of our Los Angeles County communities, this resource is deeply needed and appreciated,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

“Thank you to Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara for protecting hundreds of thousands of residents in my district, many of whom have been directly affected by the Bobcat Fire, as well as those in adjacent communities who will also be protected from insurance cancellations,” Barger said.

“This alleviates a significant burden by ensuring they have their insurance as they get back on their feet and is imperative to restore and protect our neighborhoods,” Barger said.

Following Newsom’s emergency declaration, the Department of Insurance partnered with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to identify wildfire perimeters for the mandatory moratorium area, pursuant to existing law.

The mandatory one-year moratorium announced Thursday covers nearly 347,000 residential policies in ZIP codes located within or adjacent to the Los Angeles County Bobcat Fire under the recently enacted Senate Bill 824, also known as the Wildfire Safety and Recovery Act.

Residents impacted by the Bobcat Fire may also register for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) aid until Dec. 16. The aid can be used toward rent, home repairs, medical/dental costs, funeral and other expenses related to the Bobcat Fire.

Residents should register with FEMA after they have already filed a claim for disaster-caused damage with their insurer, and one’s eligibility for FEMA is determined once the applicant’s insurance claim is settled.

Bobcat Fire survivors can register with FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.

Trending Stories