Bill Text

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-1875 Residential property insurance.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 07/02/2018 02:00 PM
AB1875:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 02, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 30, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1875


Introduced by Assembly Member Wood
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Aguiar-Curry)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Levine)
(Coauthors: Senators Dodd and McGuire)

January 16, 2018


An act to amend Section 10095.5 of, and to add Section add Sections 10095.7 to, and 10103.2 to the Insurance Code, relating to insurance.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1875, as amended, Wood. Residential property insurance.
Existing law generally regulates classes of insurance, including residential property insurance. Under existing law, the California FAIR (fair access to insurance requirements) Plan Association, a joint reinsurance association in which all insurers licensed to write basic property insurance participate, administers a program for the equitable apportionment of basic property insurance for persons who are unable to obtain that coverage through normal channels. Existing law requires the association to establish and maintain an Internet Web site and a toll-free telephone number through which a person may receive assistance in applying for basic property insurance. Existing law requires an insurer member of the plan to provide the Internet Web site address and toll-free telephone number to an applicant who is denied coverage.
This bill would require the Department of Insurance to establish the California Home Insurance Finder on its Internet Web site to help homeowners connect with an insurance agent or broker for residential property insurance. The bill would require the department to annually survey agents, brokers, insurers, and appropriate trade associations and insurers about inclusion in the finder, and post participants’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and Internet Web sites sites, if available, to the finder on or before July 1, 2020. The bill would require the commissioner to use social media and other tools to promote the finder, and to create materials in multiple languages, and to develop a pamphlet no later than July 1, 2020, that provides information on how to accurately estimate dwelling replacement costs. the most common languages used in California. The bill would require an agent for an insurer that does not offer, cancels, or declines to offer, specified extended replacement cost coverage renew a policy of residential property insurance to disclose specified information to a homeowner, including, on or after July 1, 2020, information about the finder. The bill would require an insurer that offers replacement cost coverage, as specified, but does not offer, or declines to offer, specified extended replacement cost coverage to disclose specified information to a homeowner, including the Internet Web site address of the department’s Homeowners Coverage Comparison Tool. The bill would require a residential property insurer to notify the department on or before February 1 of each year of the amount of extended replacement cost coverage it offers in California, and would require the department to use this information to annually update the Homeowners Coverage Comparison Tool.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.Section 10095.5 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:
10095.5.

(a)The association shall establish and maintain an Internet Web site and a statewide toll-free telephone number through which a person may receive information and assistance in applying for insurance through the plan. The association shall cause the toll-free telephone number to be published in all general distribution telephone directories in the state and shall include the toll-free telephone number and Internet Web site address on all communications with an applicant or insured.

(b)An insurance agent or broker transacting basic property insurance shall assist a person seeking his or her help in obtaining basic property insurance coverage by any one of the following methods:

(1)Making an application for insurance through the plan by submitting an application at the person’s request.

(2)Providing the person with the California FAIR Plan’s Internet Web site address and the toll-free telephone number.

(3)Making an application for insurance, at the person’s request, and placing that person with or through an insurer that offers, or a surplus line broker that procures, basic property insurance coverage.

(c)If an insurer does not offer, or declines to offer, extended replacement cost coverage in an amount no less than 50 percent of coverage above the policy limits for the primary dwelling, other structures, contents, and additional living expenses for a property, the agent shall disclose to the homeowner that policies from other insurers offering extended replacement cost coverage may be available for that property.

(1)Until July 1, 2020, the agent shall provide to the homeowner the contact information of an independent insurance agent in the ZIP Code of the property, if any. The agent shall not incur any liability for providing this information.

(2)On or after July 1, 2020, the agent shall provide to the homeowner information regarding, and assistance accessing, the department’s California Home Insurance Finder.

SEC. 2.SECTION 1.

 Section 10095.7 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

10095.7.
 (a) The commissioner shall establish the California Home Insurance Finder on the department’s Internet Web site. The purpose of the finder is to connect homeowners in need of insurance assistance to an insurance agent or broker to assist in finding residential property insurance.
(1) The department shall annually survey licensed insurance agents, licensed insurance brokers, and admitted insurers in California regarding inclusion on the finder. The survey shall include trade associations representing insurance agents and brokers regarding inclusion of their insurance agent and broker locator Internet Web site links on the finder.
(2) On or before July 1, 2020, and at least annually thereafter, the department shall update the finder with the names, addresses, phone numbers, and Internet Web site links links, if the licensee has an Internet Web site address, of the licensed insurance agents and brokers, admitted insurers, and insurance agent and broker trade associations that requested brokers and admitted insurers for inclusion in the finder. The information shall be aggregated by ZIP Code within which the insurance agent, broker, or insurer maintains an office or sells policies, as well as by the languages in which the insurance agent, broker, or insurer may transact insurance.
(3) The department shall use social media and other appropriate tools to make consumers aware of the California Home Insurance Finder. The department shall develop materials in multiple languages the most common languages used in the state to facilitate access to the finder for non-English-speaking consumers.

(b)The commissioner shall develop a pamphlet that provides information to homeowners and others about how to accurately estimate dwelling replacement costs. The pamphlet shall include an explanation of the relationship between the replacement cost estimate and the amount of insurance coverage the policy may provide, as well as the dangers of underinsurance. The pamphlet shall be completed no later than July 1, 2020, shall be posted on the department’s Internet Web site, and shall be published in multiple languages.

(b) On and after July 1, 2020, an insurer that does not offer, cancels, or declines to renew a policy of residential property insurance shall provide to the homeowner information regarding, and assistance accessing, the department’s California Home Insurance Finder. This disclosure may be provided jointly with the disclosure required by subdivision (h) of Section 10095.

SEC. 2.

 Section 10103.2 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

10103.2.
 (a) If an insurer offers replacement cost coverage, as described in Section 10102, upon inception of a policy of residential property insurance, but does not offer, or declines to offer, extended replacement cost coverage in an amount no less than 50 percent of coverage above the policy limits for the primary dwelling, the insurer or agent shall disclose to the homeowner that policies from other insurers offering extended replacement cost coverage of at least 50 percent may be available for that property. This disclosure shall include the Internet Web site address of the department’s Homeowners Coverage Comparison Tool.
(b) An insurer that offers policies of residential property insurance shall notify the department on or before February 1 of each year of the amount of extended replacement cost coverage offered by the insurer for each policy or product it sells in California. The department shall use this information to annually update the Homeowners Coverage Comparison Tool on the department’s Internet Web site.