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California lawmakers call on insurance commissioner to set fire insurance market straight

Foresthill community dealing with insurance problems post-Mosquito Fire
Foresthill community dealing with insurance problems post-Mosquito Fire 02:05

FORESTHILL — California lawmakers are already expressing concern over the state's plan to alleviate the insurance crisis.

The Placer County community of Foresthill is one of many at the mercy of a wildfire and is now subject to insurance problems.

"You have insurance providers pulling out of California saying, 'There's too many big fires,' and California has big fires, no doubt about it," said California Representative John Garamendi. "But for the last two years, there haven't been big fires."

The congressman is one of 32 Democratic lawmakers who are concerned over the state's sustainable insurance strategy.

"Our letter to [California Insurance] Commissioner [Ricardo] Lara is to use your power to analyze this market and set it straight," Garamendi said.

In communities like Foresthill, rates have spiked and more risk has been assessed in other areas.

"Do rates need to be raised? Do they need to be doubled and quadrupled as presently happens across the state? Do policies need to be canceled? If so, why?" Garamendi asked.

That has been the crux of the issue, one, California Department of Insurance (CDI) spokesman Michael Stoller says can be alleviated.

"What you're going to see in the coming months is the department approving insurance companies to offer discounts," Stoller said.

The CDI disagrees with the assertion from watchdogs that the deal favors insurers.

"What's clear from the meetings we've had from Californians across the state is we need more tools, not fewer regulatory tools," Stoller said.

As both sides feel the heat from consumers, "32 members of Congress are being hammered by our constituents saying, 'What's going on here?' " Garamendi said.

The CDI said help will be arriving soon in the form of new initiatives...While industry outlooks put that range between this year and 2026  

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