September 28, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CANDIDATE FOR INSURANCE COMMISSIONER AND ASSEMBLYMEMBER MARC LEVINE'S STATEMENT ON RICARDO LARA'S SHORTSIGHTED AND RECKLESS POLITICAL GAMBIT AGAINST HIS OWN CALIFORNIA FAIR PLAN ASSOCIATION
(Marin County, CA)—In reaction to California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s renewed effort to order the California FAIR Plan Association to provide insurance coverage it is incapable of providing, candidate for Insurance Commissioner and Assemblymember Marc Levine issued the following statement:
“When it comes to addressing our wildfire insurance crisis, Ricardo Lara is clearly playing catch up,” said Marc Levine. “But not only is he late to the party, he’s also flat out wrong. Ricardo Lara is not offering a real solution, just clumsy politics that will actually make the problem worse. Lara’s political posturing will cause great harm to the stability and affordability of property insurance in California.”
The California FAIR Plan is an association of insurance companies pooled together by the State to offer last resort insurance to California property owners, specifically dwelling-only, narrowly limited coverage to help rebuild a home in case of a wildfire. The FAIR Plan was not designed to be a provider of comprehensive homeowner insurance policies, but a short term solution to one’s temporary inability to secure a homeowner’s policy.
In 2019, Ricardo Lara ordered the FAIR Plan Association to offer broader, comprehensive homeowner’s insurance, something the entity was not set up to do and doesn’t have the capacity to do according to its own leadership. In fact, FAIR Plan President Anneliese Jivan said that being compelled to do so “would negatively impact consumers and further destabilize the voluntary insurance marketplace because the order provides no incentive for the private market to offer insurance in areas at risk of wildfire.”
In response to Lara’s initial order, the FAIR Plan Association sued Lara, but a court recently found Lara technically has the authority to issue the order, regardless of its recklessness.
Lara’s September 24th press release re-upping his order came immediately on the heels of last week’s announcement by Assemblymember Levine that he was challenging Lara in the Insurance Commissioner’s race and offering a comprehensive solution to the wildfire insurance crisis.
Levine’s groundbreaking California Catastrophic Wildfire Insurance Act will make homeowners’, commercial, and all property insurance available in California more accessible and affordable. The legislation both increases investment in ongoing wildfire management and mitigation measures across the state and creates a new wildfire insurance market, safety net, and regulatory structure, in order to bring stability and predictability to the California property insurance market and protect those most vulnerable to wildfires.
“As the scandals, conflicts of interest, and missed opportunities continue to pile up for Ricardo Lara, we need to continue holding him accountable,” added Marc Levine. “That’s why I’m running for Insurance Commissioner. We need serious leadership in this office to solve problems, not reckless politics that just make matters worse.”