SACRAMENTO – Legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would eliminate the confusion and delays caused by uninformed, out-of-state or multiple insurance adjusters during the 2017 North Bay wildfires cleared the full Senate today by unanimous vote.
Senate Bill 240 requires the California Department of Insurance to produce information on the most significant state insurance laws related to disasters and set training standards for agents handling catastrophic events. It also mandates that insurers provide a single point of contact for customers to make processing claims easier.
“After the devastating 2017 wildfires, we heard numerous complaints about insurance industry practices that delayed the processing of claims, and really, re-victimized the victims,” Sen. Dodd said. “This bill will prevent that from happening again when the next fire or disaster strikes.”
SB 240, which would become the Insurance Adjuster Act of 2019, is supported by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara as well as state and local consumer advocates.
“As I have met with survivors of California’s devastating wildfires, I have seen first-hand that a well-trained insurance adjuster often makes the difference in resolving their claims,” said Commissioner Lara. “Given the unfortunate likelihood that California will face large-scale wildfires in the near future, SB 240 will help ensure that out-of-state adjusters and insurers have the training to provide accurate information to survivors.”
“This bill from Sen. Dodd will expedite claims by ensuring that insurance agents know and follow the laws, and by giving victims a single point of contact when processing their claims,” said Ronit Rubinoff, executive director of Legal Aid of Sonoma County.
The bill moves next to the Assembly.
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Solano, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties. More information on Senator Bill Dodd can be found at www.senate.ca.gov/dodd.