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SB-1199 Commission on Home Hardening.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/25/2020 09:00 PM
SB1199:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 25, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1199


Introduced by Senator McGuire
(Coauthor: Senator Jackson)

February 20, 2020


An act to amend Section 12804 of, and to add Chapter 17 (commencing with Section 8899.80) to Division 1 of Title 2 of, the Government Code, and to add Article 4 (commencing with Section 2090) to Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Insurance Code, relating to state government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1199, as amended, McGuire. Commission on Home Hardening.
Existing law establishes in state government the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, comprised of the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Department of Business Oversight, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board, the California Horse Racing Board, and the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission.
This bill would establish the Commission on Home Hardening within the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. The commission would be comprised of the Insurance Commissioner, the State Fire Marshal, the Executive Director of the California Building Standards Commission, and the Director of the Office of Emergency Services, or any of their respective designees. The bill would require the commission to develop a 3-tiered system of fire prevention levels for structures in a Wildland Urban Interface environment, as specified. The bill would require the commission to develop guidelines for certifying structures within the 3-tiered system by third-party inspectors and best practices for home hardening and wildfire mitigation for homeowners seeking certification. The bill would require the commission to work with stakeholders from fire protection districts, the insurance industry, building trades industry, planning associations, and cities and counties in developing the 3-tiered system.
This bill would also require the commission to develop new wildfire community hardening standards, as specified, and provide for a certification process for communities that meet these standards.
The Insurance Rate Reduction and Reform Act of 1988, an initiative measure enacted by Proposition 103, as approved by the voters at the November 8, 1988, statewide general election, prohibits specified insurance rates from being approved or remaining in effect that are excessive, inadequate, unfairly discriminatory, or otherwise in violation of the act. The act requires an insurer that wishes to change a rate to file a complete rate application with the Insurance Commissioner, for which there may be a hearing, as prescribed. Existing law authorizes the provisions of Proposition 103 to be amended by a statute that furthers the purposes of the act and is enacted by the Legislature with a 2/3 vote.
This bill would require an admitted insurer that offers residential property insurance in this state to offer the existing residential property insurance coverage that it most commonly offers to an applicant for coverage on a residence that receives a Type III Structure certification, as specified. The bill would require an insurer to offer that residential property insurance along with a 5% discount for a residence that receives a Type II Structure certification, as specified, and along with a 10% discount for a residence that receives a Type I Structure certification, as specified. The bill would prohibit an insurer from denying coverage for a residence based on a wildfire risk if the residence is located in a community designated as a “FireWise USA” site by the National Fire Protection Association. that has been certified under the wildfire community hardening standards described above.
Because the bill would mandate discounts for specified residential property insurance policies, the bill would require a 2/3 vote.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 17 (commencing with Section 8899.80) is added to Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
CHAPTER  17. Commission of on Home Hardening

8899.80.
 (a) There is created in the state government the Commission on Home Hardening as an independent unit within the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.
(b) The commission exists as a separate unit within the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, and has the functions of prescribing policy, holding meetings and setting dates of the meetings, and holding hearings insofar as those powers are given by statute to the commission.
(c) The decisions and actions of the commission, with respect to exercising its authority and carrying out its duties under this chapter, or any other applicable law, are not subject to review by the Secretary of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing, but are final within the limits provided by this chapter.
(d) The commission shall report annually to the Governor and to the Legislature on its findings, progress, and recommendations relating to home hardening and other wildfire prevention mitigation issues, as requested by the Governor or the Legislature.

8899.81.
 (a) The Commission on Home Hardening shall consist of the following four members:
(1) The Insurance Commissioner or their designee.
(2) The State Fire Marshal or their designee.
(3) The Executive Director of the California Building Standards Commission or their designee.
(4) The Director of Emergency Services or their designee.
(b) The commission shall elect annually from its membership its own chairperson and vice chairperson and may replace them with other commissioners by majority vote.

8899.82.
 (a) (1) The commission shall be tasked with developing a 3-tiered system of fire prevention levels for structures in a Wildland-Urban Interface environment. The 3 tiers shall reflect the following prevention levels:
(A) A Type III structure shall contain provide basic fire prevention.
(B) A Type II structure shall be ember resistant.
(C) A Type I structure shall be flame and radiant heat resistant.
(2) (A) The commission shall develop guidelines for certifying structures within the 3-tiered system by third-party inspectors.
(B) An admitted insurer that offers residential property insurance shall provide insurance in accordance with Section 2090 of the Insurance Code to structures certified pursuant to this section, as applicable.
(3) The commission shall develop guidelines and best practices for home hardening and wildfire mitigation for homeowners seeking certification pursuant to this paragraph. section.
(b) The commission shall work with stakeholders from fire protection districts, the insurance industry, the building trades industry, planning associations, and cities and counties in developing the 3-tiered system and the related regulations described in subdivision (a).

8899.83.
 The commission shall be tasked with developing new wildfire community hardening standards, using the tiered system in Section 8899.82, as a model and provide for a certification process for communities that meet these standards. In developing these hardening standards and certification process, the commission shall consult with stakeholders from fire protection districts, the insurance industry, the building trades industry, planning associations, and cities and counties.

SEC. 2.

 Section 12804 of the Government Code is amended to read:

12804.
 (a) There is in the state government the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.
(b) The Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency shall consist of the following: the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Department of Real Estate, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Department of Business Oversight, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board, the California Horse Racing Board, the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission, and the Commission on Home Hardening.
(c) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2018.

SEC. 3.

 Article 4 (commencing with Section 2090) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Insurance Code, to read:
Article  4. Wildfire Areas

2090.
 (a) An admitted insurer that offers residential property insurance in this state shall offer residential property insurance to an applicant as follows:
(1) For a residence that receives a Type III Structure certification pursuant to Section 8899.82 of the Government Code, the insurer shall offer the existing residential property insurance coverage that it most commonly offers.
(2) For a residence that receives a Type II Structure certification pursuant to Section 8899.82 of the Government Code, the insurer shall offer the existing residential property insurance coverage that it most commonly offers along with a 5-percent discount.
(3) For a residence that receives a Type I Structure certification pursuant to Section 8899.82 of the Government Code, the insurer shall offer the existing residential property insurance coverage that it most commonly offers along with a 10-percent discount.
(b)  An admitted insurer that offers residential property insurance in this state shall not deny coverage for a residence based on a wildfire risk if the residence is located in a community designated as a “FireWise USA” site by the National Fire Protection Association. that is certified under the wildfire community hardening standards developed pursuant to Section 8899.83 of the Government Code.