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California Senate approves measure to help fire insurance crisis

Bill to help fire insurance crisis passes through California Senate
Bill to help fire insurance crisis passes through California Senate 02:12

EL DORADO COUNTY — The Fire Insurance Risk Evaluation (FIRE) Act, or Senate Bill 1060, passed through the California Senate on Wednesday and is one step closer to making it to the governor's desk.

Some residents of the area I spoke with said that while they hope that this may be a good thing in the long run, they aren't sure it will do much to help anyone who needs assistance right now.

"If they would have started this a few years ago, it might help," said Lorianna McArthur, Placerville resident, said. 

According to the FIRE Act, mitigation efforts include fuel reduction, home hardening, defensible space and other fire prevention activities.

"We spent over $2,500 on mitigating and they still dropped us anyway," McArthur said. 

Andrea Dodson is the agency owner of Brightway Insurance in Lotus and said that if the measure makes it to the governor's desk, it may take a while to feel the benefits.

"The California FAIR Plan has already started that so they do offer some discounts though the discounts aren't life-changing," Dodson said.

The measure would not guarantee that anyone would be re-added or not dropped from their policy.

Senator Josh Becker, who proposed the measure, said the insurance crisis is not something that would be fixed overnight.

"What we are trying to do is make sure all of the incentives are aligned. That we're incenting homeowners to do the right things, communities to do the right things, and the state to do the right things," Senator Becker said.

He said he is just one piece of the puzzle that he hopes continues to form through the rest of the year.

"I'm part of a working group in the senate and my bill is one piece of it but you really need a comprehensive plan to restore insurance," Senator Becker said.

The measure now needs to be approved in the California Assembly before it heads to the governor's desk.

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