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SB-894 Property insurance.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/21/2018 09:00 PM
SB894:v90#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 894
CHAPTER 618

An act to amend Sections 675.1 and 2051.5 of, and to add Section 10103.7 to, the Insurance Code, relating to insurance.

[ Approved by Governor  September 21, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State  September 21, 2018. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 894, Dodd. Property insurance.
Existing law requires an insurer, in the case of a total loss to the primary insured structure under a policy of residential property insurance, to offer to renew the policy at least once if the loss to the primary insured structure was caused by a disaster, as defined, and was not also due to the negligence of the insured, except as specified.
This bill would instead, under specified circumstances, require the insurer to offer to renew the policy for at least the next 2 annual renewal periods or 24 months, whichever is greater.
Existing law defines the measure of indemnity for a loss under a property insurance policy and specifies time limits under which an insured must collect the full replacement cost of the loss. Existing law prohibits a property insurance policy issued or delivered in the state from limiting or denying payment of the replacement cost of property in the event the insured decides to rebuild or replace the property at a location other than the insured premises. Existing law provides that coverage for additional living expenses incurred due to a covered loss relating to a state of emergency shall be for a period of 24 months.
This bill would require an insurer, for a policy that imposes a dollar limit on the amount of coverage provided for additional living expenses, to grant an extension of that coverage for up to 12 additional months, for a total of 36 months, if an insured acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence encounters a delay or delays in the reconstruction process that are the result of circumstances beyond the control of the insured, as specified.
This bill would require an insurer to allow an insured that has suffered a loss relating to a declared state of emergency to combine the policy limits for primary dwelling and other structures, and to use the combined amount, as specified.
The bill would make other technical, nonsubstantive changes.
This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 675.1 of the Insurance Code proposed by SB 824 to be operative only if this bill and SB 824 are enacted and this bill is enacted last. The bill would also incorporate additional changes to Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code proposed by AB 1772 and AB 1800 to be operative only if this bill, AB 1772, and AB 1800 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 675.1 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

675.1.
 In the case of a total loss to the primary insured structure under a residential policy subject to Section 675, the following provisions apply:
(a) If reconstruction of the primary insured structure has not been completed by the time of policy renewal, the insurer, prior to or at the time of renewal, and after consultation by the insurer or its representative with the insured as to what limits and coverages might or might not be needed, shall adjust the limits and coverages, write an additional policy, or attach an endorsement to the policy that reflects the change, if any, in the insured’s exposure to loss. The insurer shall adjust the premium charged to reflect any change in coverage.
(b) The insurer shall not cancel coverage while the primary insured structure is being rebuilt, except for the reasons specified in subdivisions (a) to (e), inclusive, of Section 676. The insurer shall not use the fact that the primary insured structure is in damaged condition as a result of the total loss as the sole basis for a decision to cancel the policy pursuant to subdivision (e) of that section.
(c) Except for the reasons specified in subdivisions (a) to (e), inclusive, of Section 676, the insurer shall offer, for at least the next two annual renewal periods, but no less than 24 months of coverage from the date of the loss, to renew the policy in accordance with subdivision (a) if the total loss to the primary insured structure was caused by a disaster, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1689.14 of the Civil Code, the loss was not also due to the negligence of the insured, and losses have not occurred subsequent to the disaster-related total loss that relate to physical or risk changes to the insured property that result in the property becoming uninsurable.
(d) With respect to policies of residential earthquake insurance, the California Earthquake Authority, or any insurer, including a participating insurer, as defined in subdivision (i) of Section 10089.5, may defer its initial implementation of this section until no later than October 1, 2005.
(e) With respect to a residential earthquake insurance policy issued by the California Earthquake Authority, the following provisions apply:
(1) The participating insurer that issued the underlying policy of residential property insurance on the primary insured structure shall consult with the insured as to what limits and coverages might or might not be needed as required by subdivision (a).
(2) The California Earthquake Authority, in lieu of meeting the requirements of subdivision (a), shall establish procedures and practices that allow it to reasonably accommodate the needs and interests of consumers in maintaining appropriate earthquake insurance coverage, within the statutory and regulatory limitations on the types of insurance coverages and the coverage limits of the policies that the authority may issue.

SEC. 1.5.

 Section 675.1 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

675.1.
 (a) In the case of a total loss to the primary insured structure under a policy of residential property insurance subject to Section 675, the following provisions apply:
(1) If reconstruction of the primary insured structure has not been completed by the time of policy renewal, the insurer, prior to or at the time of renewal, and after consultation by the insurer or its representative with the insured as to what limits and coverages might or might not be needed, shall adjust the limits and coverages, write an additional policy, or attach an endorsement to the policy that reflects the change, if any, in the insured’s exposure to loss. The insurer shall adjust the premium charged to reflect any change in coverage.
(2) The insurer shall not cancel coverage while the primary insured structure is being rebuilt, except for the reasons specified in subdivisions (a) to (e), inclusive, of Section 676. The insurer shall not use the fact that the primary insured structure is in damaged condition as a result of the total loss as the sole basis for a decision to cancel the policy pursuant to subdivision (e) of that section.
(3) Except for the reasons specified in subdivisions (a) to (e), inclusive, of Section 676, the insurer shall offer, for at least the next two annual renewal periods, but no less than 24 months of coverage from the date of the loss, to renew the policy in accordance with paragraph (1) if the total loss to the primary insured structure was caused by a disaster, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1689.14 of the Civil Code, the loss was not also due to the negligence of the insured, and losses have not occurred subsequent to the disaster-related total loss that relate to physical or risk changes to the insured property that result in the property becoming uninsurable.
(4) With respect to policies of residential earthquake insurance, the California Earthquake Authority, or any insurer, including a participating insurer, as defined in subdivision (i) of Section 10089.5, may defer its initial implementation of this section until no later than October 1, 2005.
(5) With respect to a residential earthquake insurance policy issued by the California Earthquake Authority, the following provisions apply:
(A) The participating insurer that issued the underlying policy of residential property insurance on the primary insured structure shall consult with the insured as to what limits and coverages might or might not be needed as required by paragraph (1).
(B) The California Earthquake Authority, in lieu of meeting the requirements of paragraph (1), shall establish procedures and practices that allow it to reasonably accommodate the needs and interests of consumers in maintaining appropriate earthquake insurance coverage, within the statutory and regulatory limitations on the types of insurance coverages and the coverage limits of the policies that the authority may issue.
(b) (1) An insurer shall not cancel or refuse to renew a policy of residential property insurance for a property located in any ZIP Code within or adjacent to the fire perimeter, for one year after the declaration of a state of emergency, as defined in Section 8558 of the Government Code, based solely on the fact that the insured structure is located in an area in which a wildfire has occurred. This prohibition applies to all policies of residential property insurance in effect at the time of the declared emergency.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the fire perimeter shall be determined by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in consultation with the Office of Emergency Services. The department shall provide the commissioner with data describing the fire perimeter sufficient for the commissioner to determine which ZIP Codes are within or adjacent to the fire perimeter. The commissioner shall then issue a bulletin to inform insurers which ZIP Codes are subject to this subdivision.
(c) Subdivision (b) does not apply in any of the following circumstances:
(1) If willful or grossly negligent acts or omissions by the named insured, or his or her representatives, are discovered that materially increase any of the risks insured against.
(2) If losses unrelated to the postdisaster loss condition of the property have occurred that would collectively render the risk ineligible for renewal.
(3) If there are physical or risk changes to the insured property beyond the catastrophe-damaged condition of the structures and surface landscape that result in the property becoming uninsurable.
(d) For the purposes of this section, “policy of residential property insurance” has the meaning described in subdivision (a) of Section 10087.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

2051.5.
 (a) Under an open policy that requires payment of the replacement cost for a loss, the measure of indemnity is the amount that it would cost the insured to repair, rebuild, or replace the thing lost or injured, without a deduction for physical depreciation, or the policy limit, whichever is less.
If the policy requires the insured to repair, rebuild, or replace the damaged property in order to collect the full replacement cost, the insurer shall pay the actual cash value of the damaged property, as defined in Section 2051, until the damaged property is repaired, rebuilt, or replaced. Once the property is repaired, rebuilt, or replaced, the insurer shall pay the difference between the actual cash value payment made and the full replacement cost reasonably paid to replace the damaged property, up to the limits stated in the policy.
(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), no time limit of less than 12 months from the date that the first payment toward the actual cash value is made shall be placed upon an insured in order to collect the full replacement cost of the loss, subject to the policy limit. Additional extensions of six months shall be provided to policyholders for good cause. In the event of a loss relating to a “state of emergency,” as defined in Section 8558 of the Government Code, no time limit of less than 24 months from the date that the first payment toward the actual cash value is made shall be placed upon the insured in order to collect the full replacement cost of the loss, subject to the policy limit. This section does not prohibit the insurer from allowing the insured additional time to collect the full replacement cost.
(2) In the event of a covered loss relating to a state of emergency, as defined in Section 8558 of the Government Code, coverage for additional living expenses shall be for a period of no less than 24 months from the inception of the loss, but shall be subject to other policy provisions. An insurer shall grant an extension of up to 12 additional months, for a total of 36 months, if an insured acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence encounters a delay or delays in the reconstruction process that are the result of circumstances beyond the control of the insured. Circumstances beyond the control of the insured include, but are not limited to, unavoidable construction permit delays, lack of necessary construction materials, and lack of available contractors to perform the necessary work. Additional extensions of six months shall be provided to policyholders for good cause.
(c) In the event of a total loss of the insured structure, no policy issued or delivered in this state may contain a provision that limits or denies payment of the replacement cost in the event the insured decides to rebuild or replace the property at a location other than the insured premises. However, the measure of indemnity shall be based upon the replacement cost of the insured property and shall not be based upon the cost to repair, rebuild, or replace at a location other than the insured premises.
(d) This section does not prohibit an insurer from restricting payment in cases of suspected fraud.

SEC. 2.3.

 Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

2051.5.
 (a) (1) Under an open policy that requires payment of the replacement cost for a loss, the measure of indemnity is the amount that it would cost the insured to repair, rebuild, or replace the thing lost or injured, without a deduction for physical depreciation, or the policy limit, whichever is less.
(2) If the policy requires the insured to repair, rebuild, or replace the damaged property in order to collect the full replacement cost, the insurer shall pay the actual cash value of the damaged property, as defined in Section 2051, until the damaged property is repaired, rebuilt, or replaced. Once the property is repaired, rebuilt, or replaced, the insurer shall pay the difference between the actual cash value payment made and the full replacement cost reasonably paid to replace the damaged property, up to the limits stated in the policy.
(b) (1) (A) (i) A time limit of less than 12 months from the date that the first payment toward the actual cash value is made shall not be placed upon an insured in order to collect the full replacement cost of the loss, subject to the policy limit.
(ii) In the event of a loss relating to a “state of emergency,” as defined in Section 8558 of the Government Code, a time limit of less than 36 months from the date that the first payment toward the actual cash value is made shall not be placed upon the insured in order to collect the full replacement cost of the loss, subject to the policy limit.
(iii) This section does not prohibit an insurer from allowing the insured additional time to collect the full replacement cost.
(B) An insurer shall provide to a policyholder one or more additional extensions of six months for good cause pursuant to clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (A) if the insured, acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence, encounters a delay or delays in approval for, or reconstruction of, the home or residence that are beyond the control of the insured. Circumstances beyond the control of the insured include, but are not limited to, unavoidable construction permit delays, the lack of necessary construction materials, or the unavailability of contractors to perform the necessary work.
(2) In the event of a covered loss relating to a state of emergency, as defined in Section 8558 of the Government Code, coverage for additional living expenses shall be for a period of no less than 24 months from the inception of the loss, but shall be subject to other policy provisions. An insurer shall grant an extension of up to 12 additional months, for a total of 36 months, if an insured acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence encounters a delay or delays in the reconstruction process that are the result of circumstances beyond the control of the insured. Circumstances beyond the control of the insured include, but are not limited to, unavoidable construction permit delays, lack of necessary construction materials, and lack of available contractors to perform the necessary work. Additional extensions of six months shall be provided to policyholders for good cause.
(c) In the event of a total loss of the insured structure, a policy issued or delivered in this state shall not contain a provision that limits or denies payment of the replacement cost in the event the insured decides to rebuild or replace the property at a location other than the insured premises. However, the measure of indemnity shall be based upon the replacement cost of the insured property and shall not be based upon the cost to repair, rebuild, or replace at a location other than the insured premises.
(d) This section does not prohibit an insurer from restricting payment in cases of suspected fraud.
(e) (1) On and after July 1, 2005, and only until July 1, 2019, all policy forms used by an insurer shall be in compliance with this section, except for the changes made to this section by the act that added paragraph (2).
(2) On and after July 1, 2019, all policy forms issued by an insurer shall be in compliance with this section in its entirety, including the changes made to this section by the act that added this paragraph.

SEC. 2.5.

 Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

2051.5.
 (a) (1) Under an open policy that requires payment of the replacement cost for a loss, the measure of indemnity is the amount that it would cost the insured to repair, rebuild, or replace the thing lost or injured, without a deduction for physical depreciation, or the policy limit, whichever is less.
(2) If the policy requires the insured to repair, rebuild, or replace the damaged property in order to collect the full replacement cost, the insurer shall pay the actual cash value of the damaged property, as defined in Section 2051, until the damaged property is repaired, rebuilt, or replaced. Once the property is repaired, rebuilt, or replaced, the insurer shall pay the difference between the actual cash value payment made and the full replacement cost reasonably paid to replace the damaged property, up to the limits stated in the policy.
(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a time limit of less than 12 months from the date that the first payment toward the actual cash value is made shall not be placed upon an insured in order to collect the full replacement cost of the loss, subject to the policy limit. Additional extensions of six months shall be provided to policyholders for good cause. In the event of a loss relating to a “state of emergency,” as defined in Section 8558 of the Government Code, no time limit of less than 24 months from the date that the first payment toward the actual cash value is made shall be placed upon the insured in order to collect the full replacement cost of the loss, subject to the policy limit. This section does not prohibit the insurer from allowing the insured additional time to collect the full replacement cost.
(2) In the event of a covered loss relating to a state of emergency, as defined in Section 8558 of the Government Code, coverage for additional living expenses is for a period of no less than 24 months from the inception of the loss, but is subject to other policy provisions. An insurer shall grant an extension of up to 12 additional months, for a total of 36 months, if an insured acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence encounters a delay or delays in the reconstruction process that are the result of circumstances beyond the control of the insured. Circumstances beyond the control of the insured include, but are not limited to, unavoidable construction permit delays, lack of necessary construction materials, and lack of available contractors to perform the necessary work. Additional extensions of six months shall be provided to policyholders for good cause.
(c) In the event of a total loss of the insured structure, a policy issued or delivered in this state shall not contain a provision that limits or denies, on the basis that the insured has decided to rebuild at a new location or to purchase an already built home at a new location, payment of the building code upgrade cost or the replacement cost, including any extended replacement cost coverage, to the extent those costs are otherwise covered by the terms of the policy or any policy endorsement. However, the measure of indemnity shall not exceed the replacement cost, including the building code upgrade cost and any extended replacement cost coverage, if applicable, to repair, rebuild, or replace the insured structure at its original location.
(d) This section does not prohibit an insurer from restricting payment in cases of suspected fraud.
(e) On and after July 1, 2019, all policy forms issued or renewed by an insurer shall comply with this section.

SEC. 2.7.

 Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

2051.5.
 (a) (1) Under an open policy that requires payment of the replacement cost for a loss, the measure of indemnity is the amount that it would cost the insured to repair, rebuild, or replace the thing lost or injured, without a deduction for physical depreciation, or the policy limit, whichever is less.
(2) If the policy requires the insured to repair, rebuild, or replace the damaged property in order to collect the full replacement cost, the insurer shall pay the actual cash value of the damaged property, as defined in Section 2051, until the damaged property is repaired, rebuilt, or replaced. Once the property is repaired, rebuilt, or replaced, the insurer shall pay the difference between the actual cash value payment made and the full replacement cost reasonably paid to replace the damaged property, up to the limits stated in the policy.
(b) (1) (A) (i) A time limit of less than 12 months from the date that the first payment toward the actual cash value is made shall not be placed upon an insured in order to collect the full replacement cost of the loss, subject to the policy limit.
(ii) In the event of a loss relating to a “state of emergency,” as defined in Section 8558 of the Government Code, a time limit of less than 36 months from the date that the first payment toward the actual cash value is made shall not be placed upon the insured in order to collect the full replacement cost of the loss, subject to the policy limit.
(iii) This section does not prohibit an insurer from allowing the insured additional time to collect the full replacement cost.
(B) An insurer shall provide to a policyholder one or more additional extensions of six months for good cause pursuant to clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (A) if the insured, acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence, encounters a delay or delays in approval for, or reconstruction of, the home or residence that are beyond the control of the insured. Circumstances beyond the control of the insured include, but are not limited to, unavoidable construction permit delays, the lack of necessary construction materials, or the unavailability of contractors to perform the necessary work.
(2) In the event of a covered loss relating to a state of emergency, as defined in Section 8558 of the Government Code, coverage for additional living expenses shall be for a period of no less than 24 months from the inception of the loss, but shall be subject to other policy provisions. An insurer shall grant an extension of up to 12 additional months, for a total of 36 months, if an insured acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence encounters a delay or delays in the reconstruction process that are the result of circumstances beyond the control of the insured. Circumstances beyond the control of the insured include, but are not limited to, unavoidable construction permit delays, lack of necessary construction materials, and lack of available contractors to perform the necessary work. Additional extensions of six months shall be provided to policyholders for good cause.
(c) In the event of a total loss of the insured structure, a policy issued or delivered in this state shall not contain a provision that limits or denies, on the basis that the insured has decided to rebuild at a new location or to purchase an already built home at a new location, payment of the building code upgrade cost or the replacement cost, including any extended replacement cost coverage, to the extent those costs are otherwise covered by the terms of the policy or any policy endorsement. However, the measure of indemnity shall not exceed the replacement cost, including the building code upgrade cost and any extended replacement cost coverage, if applicable, to repair, rebuild, or replace the insured structure at its original location.
(d) This section does not prohibit an insurer from restricting payment in cases of suspected fraud.
(e) (1) On and after July 1, 2005, and only until July 1, 2019, all policy forms used by an insurer shall be in compliance with this section, except for the changes made to this section by the act that added paragraph (2).
(2) On and after July 1, 2019, all policy forms issued by an insurer shall be in compliance with this section in its entirety, including the changes made to this section by the act that added this paragraph.

SEC. 3.

 Section 10103.7 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

10103.7.
 In the event of a covered loss relating to a state of emergency, as defined in Section 8558 of the Government Code, an insured under a residential property insurance policy shall be permitted to combine payments for claims for losses up to the policy limits for the primary dwelling and other structures, for any of the covered expenses reasonably necessary to rebuild or replace the damaged or destroyed dwelling, if the policy limits for coverage to rebuild or replace the primary dwelling are insufficient. Any claims payments for losses pursuant to this subdivision for which replacement cost coverage is applicable shall be for the full replacement value of the loss without requiring actual replacement of the other structures or contents. Claims payments for other structures in excess of the amount applied towards the necessary cost to rebuild or replace the damaged or destroyed dwelling shall be paid according to the terms of the policy.

SEC. 4.

 The provisions of this bill are severable. If any provision of this bill or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

SEC. 5.

 (a) Section 1.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 675.1 of the Insurance Code proposed by both this bill and Senate Bill 824. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2019, (2) each bill amends Section 675.1 of the Insurance Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Senate Bill 824, in which case Section 1 of this bill shall not become operative.
(b) Section 2.3 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code proposed by this bill and Assembly Bill 1772. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2019, (2) each bill amends Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code, (3) Assembly Bill 1800 is not enacted or as enacted does not amend that section, and (4) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 1772, in which case Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code, as amended by Assembly Bill 1772, shall remain operative only until the operative date of this bill, at which time Section 2.3 of this bill shall become operative, and Sections 2, 2.5, and 2.7 of this bill shall not become operative.
(c) Section 2.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code proposed by this bill and Assembly Bill 1800. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2019, (2) each bill amends Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code, (3) Assembly Bill 1772 is not enacted or as enacted does not amend that section, and (4) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 1800, in which case Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code, as amended by Assembly Bill 1800, shall remain operative only until the operative date of this bill, at which time Section 2.5 of this bill shall become operative, and Sections 2, 2.3, and 2.7 of this bill shall not become operative.
(d) Section 2.7 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code proposed by this bill, Assembly Bill 1772, and Assembly Bill 1800. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) all three bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2019, (2) all three bills amend Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 1772 and Assembly Bill 1800, in which case Section 2051.5 of the Insurance Code, as amended by Assembly Bill 1772 or Assembly Bill 1800, shall remain operative only until the operative date of this bill, at which time Section 2.7 of this bill shall become operative, and Sections 2, 2.3, and 2.5 of this bill shall not become operative.