Update: California’s Homeowners Insurance Reforms — What do Voters Think?

California’s Consumer Watchdog commissioned a poll on what voters think about the homeowners insurance reforms proposed by California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.

The commissioner wants to let insurers set rates based on catastrophe risk models and to consider reinsurance costs. The tradeoff is that insurers will return to wildfire risk zones with 85% of their market share being in those zones.

No one is really sure how that will work but it’s the plan, and a plan vehemently opposed by some consumers groups including Consumer Watchdog who paid for this poll.

Here’s what it found:

  • 62% of Californians disapprove of Lara’s plan
  • 30% approve
  • 8% are either unsure or don’t care

Just 9% of those polled “strongly” approve of the plan.

Though the Consumer Watchdog poll finds the voters polled don’t like Lara’s plan, they strongly acknowledged the need for a solution. Most liked the idea of a mandate similar to one introduced in the last legislative session by California Senator Mike McGuire.

If McGuire’s plan had passed, it would have required insurers to sell homeowners insurance to those in wildfire risk areas if they took pains to fireproof their property. From an insurance perspective, the issue was defining fireproof. That said, the people polled like McGuire’s idea:

  • 77% approve
  • 15% oppose
  • 8% either don’t care or are unsure

Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court said those responding to the survey also want insurers to be forced to sell homeowners and renters insurance in wildfire areas if they’re allowed to sell auto insurance. Here are those numbers:

  • 55% say they should be forced
  • 30% don’t approve of that kind of force being applied

“The poll shows that Commissioner Lara’s plan goes against the will of the California voters,” Court said. “Voters clearly believe the answer to problems in the home insurance crisis is more regulation, not less.”

Here’s where the poll suffers, and that’s the numbers. Only 600 people were polled between October 26th and October 30th.

Source link: Insurance Business America — https://bit.ly/3utwpag

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