Source: Office of Sen. Jackson
To help residents whose homes were devastated or destroyed in the recent Montecito mudslides, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) has just introduced a bill to ensure that fire insurance policies cover losses incurred from fire-induced mudslides.
Senate Bill 917 clarifies that, under current law, an insurance policy covers loss or damage resulting from a landslide if that landslide was attributable to a condition already covered by the policy, such as wildfires.
The bill is designed to help current Montecito homeowners whose home insurance coverage of mudslide losses may be under question following the January 9 event, which killed at least 21 residents, injured many others and destroyed almost 10 percent of Montecito’s homes.
While most residents are required to have property insurance, few had purchased optional flood insurance. The mudslide resulted when significant rains – at one point falling at the rate of a half-inch in five minutes – fell upon a burn scar left by the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California history.
“We have seen at least one insurance company step up to the plate for these residents following this devastating mudslide, but for others, questions still remain regarding whether their fire insurance policies will cover the losses from these fire-caused mudslides,” said Jackson. “My bill makes it clear that current law requires coverage of these fire-caused events. For many Californians, their home is their nest egg, and the result of a lifetime of hard work. This is a question of justice and fairness for these residents, many of them retirees, and any Californians who find themselves in similar situations.”
A hearing for the bill has not yet been scheduled.
Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.
Director, Luxury Homes Division
Professional Financial Planner
Keller Williams, Santa Barbara