Code Section

Insurance Code - INS

DIVISION 1. GENERAL RULES GOVERNING INSURANCE [100 - 1879.8]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )
  

PART 1. THE CONTRACT [100 - 679.74]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )
  

CHAPTER 11. Cancellation and Failure to Renew Certain Property Insurance [675 - 679.7]
  ( Chapter 11 added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 313. )

  
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. That reduction of limits or elimination of coverage shall identify the specific limits being reduced or coverage being eliminated by the offer of renewal. The elimination of coverage for the previously covered 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) 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.

(e) A notice of nonrenewal for a residential property insurance policy expiring on or after July 1, 2021, shall be accompanied by the following notice:


The California Department of Insurance has developed the California Home Insurance Finder, an online tool that can assist you in obtaining insurance for your home. The Finder contains names, addresses, telephone numbers, and internet website links of licensed insurance agents, brokers, and insurance companies that may be able to sell insurance to you. The Finder is organized by ZIP Code and the languages in which the agent, broker, or insurance company sells insurance.

The California FAIR Plan (FAIR Plan) provides basic property insurance as the “insurer of last resort” if you cannot find insurance coverage for your property in the normal (voluntary) insurance market. The FAIR Plan provides basic property insurance coverage for residential structures, as well as personal property coverage for residential and business occupancies. However, FAIR Plan policies may not cover liability, theft, or water damage, among other things. There are also optional coverages available for both residential properties. Applications can be made directly with the FAIR Plan (cfpnet.com), although the FAIR Plan strongly encourages use of a licensed agent or broker for assistance in preparing and obtaining a quote. There is no additional cost for using an agent or broker for purchasing a FAIR Plan policy.

California law requires an agent or broker to assist a person seeking a FAIR Plan policy by (1) submitting a coverage application to the FAIR Plan on behalf of the consumer, (2) providing the consumer the FAIR Plan’s internet website address and toll-free telephone number, or (3) obtaining a policy for the consumer through an admitted or nonadmitted insurer.

To supplement a FAIR Plan policy, a Difference in Conditions (DIC) policy should be considered. A DIC policy is sold by some private insurers, and provides coverage for things not covered by the basic property insurance policy provided by the FAIR Plan. A consumer who wants broader coverage than that provided by the FAIR Plan policy should contact an agent, broker, or insurance company that offers a DIC policy to obtain this additional coverage. The Department of Insurance maintains a list of insurance companies that sell DIC policies on its internet website (insurance.ca.gov). Additional assistance may be obtained by contacting an agent or broker listed with the department’s online agent locator.


(f) An insurer may use a notice substantially similar to the notice set forth in subdivision (e) to the extent that the notice provides additional or more detailed information.

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

(Amended by Stats. 2020, Ch. 263, Sec. 1.5. (AB 2756) Effective January 1, 2021.)