Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Lawmakers pass Sen. Dodd’s insurance adjuster bill

SACRAMENTO – The Legislature on Friday approved a bill 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.

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. “SB 240 will help ensure that out-of-state adjusters and insurers have the training to provide accurate information to survivor of future fires.”

“Legal Aid of Sonoma County assisted hundreds of wildfire survivors, many of whom faced insurmountable obstacles to rebuilding their lives,” said Ronit Rubinoff, Legal Aid’s executive director. “Much of the problem, which resulted in substantial financial loss, could have been avoided if a bill like SB 240 had been in place.”

SB 240 bill heads next to Gov. Gavin Newsom for a signature.

Sen. Bill Dodd represents the Third Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Solano, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties. More information on Sen. Bill Dodd can be found at www.senate.ca.gov/dodd .



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