By Susan Montoya Bryan, ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 24, 2022
Manuel and Marcy Silva combed through the charred rubble that used to be their home, searching for any salvageable bits in the wake of the largest wildfire in New Mexico history.
By Michael Finney & Randall Yip, KGO ABC TV-7 San Francisco, CA
September 9, 2022
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- Homeowners in California who live in a high-risk fire zones could find it easier to get their home policies renewed. That's if new state regulations work as intended. Not everyone is convinced it will work.
Los Angeles, CA – California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today submitted a long-awaited regulation for final approval that will require insurance companies to provide premium discounts to homeowners who reduce their risk of loss from wildfires. But under the regulations as submitted, homeowners can spend thousands of dollars on wildfire mitigation, reducing their risk, but still lose their coverage or get no break from insura
By Trevor Morgan, SANTA CLARITA VALLEY SIGNAL
August 5, 2022
Residents of a Castaic condominium complex are wondering why an estimated 1000% increase to their fire insurance rates would happen in as little as three years, but say answers to this question are hard to come by.
By Staff Reporters, CLAIMS JOURNAL
July 18, 2022
Insurers and consumer advocates are conveying conflicting messages as both try to focus public attention on smoke damage claims.
By Staff Reporters, KNX 1070AM Los Angeles, CA
July 13, 2022
Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.
Harvey Rosenfield with Consumer Watchdog details how their new report shows insurance companies illegally inserting language to allow them to deny wildfire claims.
By Staff Reporters, KCBS 740AM San Francisco, CA
July 13, 2022
Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.
Consumer Watchdog says insurance companies are illegally inserting language into policies to deny wildfire claims.
Los Angeles, CA -- A Consumer Watchdog examination of public filings reveals that insurance companies have inserted provisions into the fine print of their home, condo and renters’ insurance policies that allow them to limit or deny coverage after a wildfire in violation of California law.
By Grace Gedye, CAL MATTERS
May 26, 2022
New rules proposed by California’s Department of Insurance would require insurers to take homeowners’ efforts to reduce wildfire risk into account when setting premiums. But they would still allow non-renewals.
By David Jerome, IDYLWILD TOWN CRIER
May 25, 2022
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) is rolling out new regulations mandating that insurers in the state offer discounts to policyholders who undertake fire hazard mitigation and structure "hardening." The rules are intended to make decisions about rate and risk more transparent and more tuned to the specific risk of an individual property, as opposed to just the zone it is in.
Insurance Commissioner Lara Must Close Loophole in Regulation Allowing Insurers to Ignore WIldfire Mitigation for Denial or Non-Renewal Decisions
Los Angeles, CA – A regulation proposed by California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to stop insurance companies from overcharging homeowners who reduce their risk of loss from wildfires must also apply to insurance companies’ decisions about which properties they will insure, consumer groups will testify at a public hearing in Oakland today.
Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog said a regulation proposed by California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to require discounts for homeowners who protect their homes from fires is necessary and long overdue -- but falls short when it comes to insurance companies’ non-renewal decisions. As written, the regulation would not require insurance companies to consider home or community mitigation steps when making nonrenewal decisions.
Los Angeles, CA – A new state wildfire protection framework released this week is an empty promise for homeowners if the Insurance Commissioner does not also require that insurance companies give discounts to policyholders who follow its recommendations, said Consumer Watchdog today.
Draft regulations have been under consideration at the Department of Insurance to mandate wildfire mitigation discounts for the past year, yet Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara did not mention the rules or their status when announcing the “Safer From Wildfires” framework this week.
By Sam Mellins, THE DAILY POSTER
February 7, 2022
Major insurance companies are choosing to protect the fossil fuel industry while abandoning homeowners whose safety and livelihoods are being threatened by the industry’s carbon emissions.
Los Angeles, CA – Consumer groups said a regulation proposed by California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to require discounts for homeowners who take home-hardening steps to reduce their risk of damage from wildfires must also apply to insurance companies' decisions about which properties they will insure. California homeowners, businesses and communities face unfair price increases and non-renewals, and new wildfire mitigation rules must protect against both, said the groups today at a public hearing convened by the Department of Insurance.
By Saul Elbein, THE HILL
August 4, 2021
Years of destructive wildfires are leaving millions of Californians at risk of losing their homeowner's insurance — underscoring fears that climate change could soon make parts of the country uninhabitable for financial reasons.
By Adam Raskin, KGTV ABC TV-10 San Diego, CA
July 30 2021
San Diego (KGTV) — Throughout the state, homeowners are preparing for what could be another long wildfire season.
By J. D. Morris, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
July 22, 2021
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said Wednesday that it wants to bury 10,000 miles of its power lines in the coming years, hoping that such a far-reaching and expensive effort will finally turn the company's disastrous track record around.
By Kyle Barnett, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
July 22, 2021
The largest utility in California is planning to bury 10,000 miles of power lines in an effort to prevent fires in the drought-stricken state.
Pacific Gas & Electric said the move is intended to "further harden its system" to prevent accidental outbreaks of wildfires. Several fires in California have been attributed to PG&E equipment over the years.
By Sonseeahary Tonsall, Eric Rucker, Ian McDonald, KXTL FOX TV-40, Sacramento, CA
July 21, 2021
CHICO, Calif. (KTXL) — Pacific Gas and Electric announced on Wednesday that it plans to bury 10,000 miles of lines in parts of the state with higher fire danger.
Los Angeles, CA -- A group convened by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to investigate insurance-related climate change solutions is recommending he let insurance companies insert secret models into ratemaking, a top deregulatory priority of the industry in California.
When disaster hits, insurance companies are supposed to have your back… but their number one priority is almost always their own financial well-being.
Insurers, facing huge losses, have been pulling back from fire-prone areas across California. “The marketplace has largely collapsed,” an advocate for counties in the state said.
By Christopher Flavelle, THE NEW YORK TIMES
September 2, 2020
By Michael Finney and Randall Yip, KGO ABC TV-7 San Francisco, CA
August 26, 2020
Click here to watch the video of this news segment: https://abc7news.com/lightning-fires-scu-complex-fire-lnu-czu-august/63…
By Michael Hiltzik, LOS ANGELES TIMES
June 19, 2020
It’s fair to say that most Americans see the coronavirus pandemic as an enormous and fearsome burden.
Not the insurance industry. In California, the industry is using the crisis to bring about a sneaky change in insurance rules that could lead to massive increases in homeowner premiums.
Los Angeles, CA — While the rest of the state is sheltering at home, lobbyists for the insurance industry are busy promoting legislation, scheduled for a hearing tomorrow, that would allow them to boost insurance rates on homeowners and renters.
Los Angeles, CA– In a letter sent today, Consumer Watchdog called on Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to use the full authority of his office to preserve Californians’ access to home insurance.
Sacramento, CA – A wildfire insurance bill sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara stalled in the state Assembly today in the face of objections raised by the Department of Finance and Consumer Watchdog that the bill would expose taxpayers to unnecessary financial risks.
Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said legislation sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and scheduled for a vote Wednesday would needlessly expose California taxpayers to the same kind of complex and risky financial instruments that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
The bill would allow the state to purchase insurance and other financial products with none of the usual state oversight, including insurance regulation by Commissioner Lara’s own Department of Insurance and procurement rules at the Department of General Services.
Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said today that a California wildfire victims’ relief fund could be important, but that the proposal put forth today by Governor Newsom, in legislative hands, threatens to take rights and dollars from wildfire victims, ratepayers and taxpayers without forcing PG&E to make tangible concessions.
Los Angeles, CA -- In a letter to California’s legislative leaders, Consumer Watchdog today wrote that the shocking details of a utility junket in Maui with 12 state lawmakers while wildfires destroyed the state should compel new immediate online disclosures about such trips.
As wildfire victims fled for their lives in Paradise and Malibu this November, utility executives and lobbyists for California's big utilities were wining and dining 12 influential state legislators in a different paradise -- Wailea, Maui.
The New York Times broke the story about the junket and the discussion about the wildfires there, which had to include the the inevitable bailout for the utilities that helped spark the blaze.
Governor Brown may not have lit the match that set off the recent wild fires in Sonoma and Napa, but he has responsibility for failing to clear the tinder that spread the flames.
Los Angeles, CA — Consumer Watchdog today urged the President of the California Public Utilities Commission, Michael Picker, to launch a public investigation of Pacific Gas & Electric’s shutoff of power to thousands of customers in Northern California over the weekend due to high wind advisories.
This oped was published in the San Francisco Chronicle on October 5, 2018
What if hospitals sold crack, doctors offered cigarettes in their waiting rooms, and firefighters gave out flamethrowers?
San Francisco, CA – The nonprofit consumer group responsible for the most effective regulation of the insurance industry in America said today it would be challenging America’s insurance companies to join their European counterparts in refusing to underwrite coal and fossil fuel projects.
Sacramento, CA -- Consumer Watchdog released evidence today showing that the co-chairman of the conference committee convened to discuss taking wildfire victims' legal rights rushed witnesses to end a key hearing in order to get to his fundraiser across the street attended by PG&E and other utility lobbyists.
SACRAMENTO, CA—Consumer Watchdog’s President Jamie Court spoke today at a rally of wildfire survivors and urged legislators not to give in to PG&E and the other utilities’ demands to take victims’ rights to hold the companies legally accountable for damage caused by their equipment.
The wildfires devastating Bel Air, Ventura and Southern California's canyons are destroying homes in their path. Unfortunately, many of those homeowners are going to find that when they try to rebuild their homeowners' policies may not cover the real costs.
It's a sad cycle that happens after too many wildfires, include the historic devastation fires wrought recently in Sonoma and Napa Valley.