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KRCR: "Democratic challenger for California Insurance Commissioner visits Paradise"

by Kelly DeLeon

Thursday, March 17th 2022

PARADISE, Calif. — On Thursday, the Democratic challenger for California Insurance Commissioner, Marc Levine, visited Paradise: a community that continues to struggle to obtain adequate home insurance.

Levine met with members of the non-profit, Rebuild Paradise, and the Butte County Fire Safe Council.

"People are struggling with rebuilding; they're also struggling with insurance. Some lots, as they're rebuilding, can get insurance, but some of their neighbors still can't get insurance. They're being told by insurance carriers that they have a score that makes them uninsurable...we need to hold insurance carriers accountable. They can't discriminate based on zip code, or just decide a whole town can't be insured."

Levine, a five-term Democratic assembly member, is running to unseat Democratic incumbent Ricardo Lara, as he believes Lara is too compromised by his conflict of interest with insurance companies.

"I'm running for State Insurance Commissioner to make sure that we're holding insurance companies accountable, and people who are doing the responsible thing can get the insurance that they deserve."

When asked how he plans to do that, Levine said as Insurance Commissioner he would bring insurance carriers to Paradise so they can see first-hand the home hardening and fire-safe practices the community is doing.

"They will see the differences that have been made here, that this is a good community to insure. They need to see it firsthand."

When asked if it was possible to force insurance companies to insure properties in high-risk areas, he said, "if you look at auto insurance, there's something called the good driver standard. If you're a good driver, you must be given insurance. The same thing should be true with home insurance. If you've done defensible space, if your community has invested in that, if you've done home hardening, that's essentially the good driver standard. And if you've done that insurers must be required to issue insurance."

Levine finished his trip in Paradise touring the town, seeing the damage the 2018 Camp Fire caused.

The General Election takes place Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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