Largest Wildfire in California History Officially 100% Contained

Officials announced on Wednesday that the Mendocino Complex Fire, the largest wildfire in California’s history, is now 100 percent contained.

The blaze burned a combined 459,123 acres, destroyed 280 structures including 157 residences, killed one firefighter and injured four others. The Mendocino fire north of San Francisco broke the record set in December, 2017, when the Thomas Fire killed two people, burned 440 square miles and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings in Southern California.

California’s Governor: Insurance Fared Better in Wildfires Bill

California lawmakers didn’t go as far as Governor Jerry Brown wanted to address potential liabilities for utilities from wildfires, and the governor said that “it’s hard to say” if they ever would.

Brown, citing longstanding practice, declined to say if he would sign the bill passed last month that included measures considered beneficial for utilities such as PG&E Corp. But the wide-ranging plan didn’t tackle the issue of inverse condemnation, in which utilities can be held liable for costs if their equipment is found to have caused a fire — regardless of whether they followed safety rules. Brown had pushed a proposal that would have given utilities relief from the rule, which was opposed by insurance companies, trial lawyers and fire victims.

Report Shows California Wildfires, Climate Change Altering Insurance Landscape

Insurers may be non-renewing more in wildfire-prone areas of California, sending an increasing number of people to the residual market or to surplus lines insurers.

A report released on Monday shows that market shares of the FAIR Plan, the state’s residual insurance market, and the surplus lines market, are on the rise, as people look for coverage, and look for more affordable coverage.

Wildfires are inevitable – increasing home losses, fatalities and costs are not

Wildfire has been an integral part of California ecosystems for centuries. Now, however, nearly a third of homes in California are in wildland urban interface areas where houses intermingling with wildlands and fire is a natural phenomenon. Just as Californians must live with earthquake risk, they must live with wildfires.

Shaped by ignitions, climate and fuels, wildfires are likely to become more frequent and severe with climate change. The 2017 experience of the largest and most damaging wildfires in California history, and ongoing destructive fires in 2018, provide a window of opportunity for learning to better coexist with wildfire.

California Wildfire Insurance Policy Notification Bill Signed

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to requires insurance companies to let homeowners know whether their policies are sufficient to rebuild or replace their homes after a disaster.

Assembly Bill 1799, by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, addresses consumer protection and underinsurance issues uncovered by the devastating 2017 wildfire season.

California Orders Work Comp Insurers to Report Federal Income Tax Savings

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has issued an order directing every insurer licensed to write workers’ compensation insurance in the state must report their federal income tax savings annually through a rate filing in light of the new tax law.

The recent revision to the Federal Tax Schedule for 2018 reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. That means that nationally insurers will now be able to retain even more of policyholder premiums as profit.

Safety Agency to Watch Tesla Car Fire Exam Following California Incident

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a technical specialist to observe Tesla Inc.’s examination of a Model S that caught fire in California on Friday, the agency said in a statement.

The action is not a formal probe of how the lithium-ion battery pack caught fire without being involved a crash, NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said. NTSB’s participation in Tesla’s review “will provide the agency with an opportunity to learn more about fires in all types of battery-powered vehicles,” he said.

California Wildfire Survivor Bills Pass Senate Committee

Four bills sponsored by the California Department of Insurance that the department believes will strengthen consumer protections for wildfire survivors have passed the Senate Insurance Committee with unanimous, bipartisan votes.

Assembly Bill 1772 would extend the amount of time a home or business owner has to rebuild an insured property from two to three years after a declared wildfire emergency and receive the full replacement costs to which they are entitled.

WCRIB: California Workers’ Comp Written Premium to be Down Again This Year

Lower workers’ compensation rates in California will bring down written premium once again this year, according to a forecast from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.

That revelation is expected in a full report on the state of California’s workers’ comp system is due out in about a week, but David Bellusci, WCIRB executive vice president and chief actuary, gave a rundown of what to expect during the group’s annual conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

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