California homeowners get boost from court in fire insurance decision

Court ruling this week will have a major impact on homeowners who have had their fire coverage dropped by their insurer as ktv's andre senior reports now those people can now get expanded coverage under the state's insurer of last resort it was a battle between california insurance commissioner ricardo lada.

And insurance companies caught in the middle tens of thousands of state residents who live in fire prone areas michael solar california's deputy insurance commissioner says a superior court judge's ruling this week sided with consumers what the judge said was that.

The insurance commissioner has the authority to expand coverage for california consumers the fight involves california's fair coverage plan the insurer of last resort it's where homeowners go if their insurance company drops their fire coverage currently the fair plan only offers fire.

Coverage so homeowners are forced to find another insurer to cover things like liability that's not good for consumers says amy bach with consumer advocacy group policy united that's a lot of money for people that's a lot of confusion that's a lot of who's responsible you know where's the.

Bucks stop not a good system the insurance commissioner says all the moving parts ended up costing homeowners double or even triple what they've been paying under a single plan and that's what doesn't seem right and that's why the commissioner ordered the fair plan to give the option.

Of that additional coverage because it's the fair plan on its own is very expensive the fare plan is mandated by the state of california but backed by insurance companies themselves that want to operate in california they all share the risk but had been fighting the order previously saying.

The commissioner exceeded his authority i think if you talk to a lot of the insurers that sit on the governing board of the fair plan they they would love to see it go away um you know because a lot of these are risks they didn't want a representative for california fair said that it fought the requirement.

Because it would have led to an increase in rates to consumers on wednesday the association indicated that it does indeed plan to increase rates i'm andre senior ktvu fox 2 news

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