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AB-2756 Residential property insurance.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/18/2020 09:00 PM
AB2756:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 18, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 04, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2756


Introduced by Assembly Member Limón

February 20, 2020


An act to amend Section 678 of, and to add Section 10103.6 to, the Insurance Code, relating to insurance.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2756, as amended, Limón. Residential property insurance.
Existing law generally regulates residential property insurance. Existing law requires specified information to be included on the declarations page of a residential property insurance policy, including limits of liability for the structure and personal property. Existing law requires an insurer to deliver or mail to the named insured an offer of renewal or a notice of nonrenewal of an insurance policy at least 45 days before the policy expiration, or 75 days before the policy expiration for a notice of nonrenewal for a policy that expires on or after July 1, 2020. Existing law requires an offer of renewal to include specified information, including any reduction of limits or elimination of coverage.
This bill would require an insurer to obtain a signed acknowledgment from an applicant or insured if the insurer issues or renews a residential property insurance policy on or after January July 1, 2021, that does not provide coverage for the peril of fire. The bill would require that acknowledgment and the declarations page of a residential property insurance policy issued or renewed on or after January July 1, 2021, that does not provide coverage for the peril of fire to prominently disclose a statement that the policy does not cover the peril of fire and information on the California FAIR Plan and the California Home Insurance Finder.
This bill would require an offer of renewal stating a reduction of limits or elimination of coverage to include a specific description of the reduction or elimination. The bill would require an elimination of coverage for a previously covered peril to be considered a nonrenewal. The bill would require an insurer that offers a new policy or policy endorsement that does not provide coverage for the peril of fire or any other previously covered peril to issue the new policy or policy endorsement under a different policy number than that of the policy that is not being renewed, and would require the insurer to provide specified disclosures to the insured.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 678 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

678.
 (a) At least 45 days before the policy expiration, an insurer shall deliver to the named insured or mail to the named insured at the address shown in the policy, either of the following:
(1) An offer of renewal of the policy contingent upon payment of premium as stated in the offer, stating each of the following:
(A) Any reduction of limits or elimination of coverage. A reduction of limits or elimination of coverage shall include the specific description of the limits being reduced or coverage being eliminated by the renewal. The elimination of coverage for a the previously covered peril, including the perils of fire and liability, shall not be a renewal of the policy, but shall be considered a nonrenewal and shall be subject to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), subdivision (d), and any other law governing the failure to renew an insurance policy subject to Section 675. peril of fire shall be subject to subdivision (b) of Section 10103.6.
(B) The telephone number of the insurer’s representatives who handle consumer inquiries or complaints. The telephone number shall be displayed prominently in a font size consistent with the other text of the renewal offer.
(2) A notice of nonrenewal of the policy. That notice shall contain all of the following:
(A) The specific reason or reasons for the nonrenewal.
(B) The telephone number of the insurer’s representatives who handle consumer inquiries or complaints. The telephone number shall be displayed prominently in a font size consistent with the other text of the notice of nonrenewal.
(C) Until July 1, 2020, a brief statement indicating that if the consumer has contacted the insurer to discuss the nonrenewal and remains unsatisfied, the consumer may have the matter reviewed by the department. The statement shall include the telephone number of the unit within the department that responds to consumer inquiries and complaints.
(D) On or after July 1, 2020, a statement that if the consumer has contacted the insurer to discuss the nonrenewal and remains unsatisfied, the consumer may have the matter reviewed by the department. The statement shall include the department’s internet website, www.insurance.ca.gov, the department’s telephone number, (800) 927-HELP (4357), and the mailing address of the department’s Consumer Services Division, 300 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.
(b) If an insurer fails to give the named insured either an offer of renewal or notice of nonrenewal as required by this section, the existing policy, with no change in its terms and conditions, shall remain in effect for 45 days from the date that either the offer to renew or the notice of nonrenewal is delivered or mailed to the named insured. A notice to this effect shall be provided by the insurer to the named insured with the policy or the notice of renewal or nonrenewal.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), with respect to a notice of nonrenewal for a policy that expires on or after July 1, 2020, the following timelines apply:
(1) At least 75 days before the policy expiration, the insurer shall deliver the notice of nonrenewal to the named insured or mail the notice of nonrenewal to the named insured at the address shown in the policy. The notice shall include the information contained in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).
(2) If an insurer fails to give the named insured a notice of nonrenewal at least 75 days before the policy expiration, as required by paragraph (1), the existing policy, with no change in its terms and conditions, shall remain in effect for 75 days from the date that the notice of nonrenewal is delivered or mailed to the named insured. A notice to this effect shall be provided by the insurer to the named insured with the notice of nonrenewal.

(d)(1)If an insurer does not renew a policy subject to this section, but offers the insured a new policy or policy endorsement that does not provide coverage for the peril of fire or any other previously covered peril, the insurer shall issue the new policy under a different policy number than that of the policy that is not being renewed. In addition, the insurer shall prominently disclose the specific perils or coverages that differ from the previous policy in bold, uppercase letters in no less than 12-point type. If the new policy does not provide coverage for the peril of fire, the insurer shall include in the notice of nonrenewal the information on the California FAIR Plan, as required by subdivision (h) of Section 10095, and the information on the California Home Insurance Finder, as required by subdivision (b) of Section 10095.7.

(2)If the insured accepts the offer of the new policy that does not provide coverage for the peril of fire, the insurer shall disclose on the first page of the declarations of the new policy the following notice in bold, uppercase letters in no less than 12-point type, and shall include the internet website address and toll-free telephone number of the California FAIR Plan:


THIS POLICY DOES NOT COVER THE PERIL OF FIRE. IN ORDER TO OBTAIN FIRE COVERAGE, YOU MAY CONTACT THE CALIFORNIA FAIR PLAN.


(e)

(d) A policy written for a term of less than one year shall be considered as if written for a term of one year. A policy written for a term longer than one year, or a policy with no fixed expiration date, shall be considered as if written for successive policy periods or terms of one year.

(f)

(e) This section applies only to policies of insurance specified in Section 675.

SEC. 2.

 Section 10103.6 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

10103.6.
 (a) If an insurer issues or renews a residential property insurance policy on or after January July 1, 2021, that does not provide coverage for the peril of fire, the insurer shall, on or before the date of issuance of the policy, obtain a signed acknowledgment from the applicant or insured stating that the policy does not provide coverage for the peril of fire. If the applicant or insured does not sign the required acknowledgment on or before the issuance of the policy, the insurer shall obtain the signed acknowledgment from the applicant or insured within 60 days of the date of issuance of the policy.
(b) If an insurer issues or renews a residential property insurance policy on or after January July 1, 2021, that does not provide coverage for the peril of fire, the insurer shall prominently disclose both of the following on the acknowledgment required pursuant to subdivision (a) and on the declarations page of the new policy:
(1) The following statement in bold, uppercase letters in no less than 12-point type:

THIS POLICY DOES NOT COVER THE PERIL OF FIRE. IN ORDER TO OBTAIN FIRE COVERAGE, YOU MAY CONTACT THE CALIFORNIA FAIR PLAN. THERE ARE OTHER RESOURCES FOR FIRE COVERAGE, INCLUDING THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE’S HOME INSURANCE FINDER AND THE CALIFORNIA FAIR PLAN ASSOCIATION.

(2) Information on the California FAIR Plan, as required by subdivision (h) of Section 10095, and the information on the California Home Insurance Finder, as required by subdivision (b) of Section 10095.7.

SEC. 3.

 The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act 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.