Consumer Watchdog Accuses California Insurance Commissioner of Favoring Insurers

Consumer Watchdog has called out California insurance commissioner Ricardo Lara and the working group he convened to address the state’s wildfire problem in insurance terms, accusing the regulator of allowing insurers to meddle in rate adjustments.

The ‘Climate Insurance Working Group’ released a 67-page draft report last week which gives recommendations to expand insurance protection and ‘strengthen the insurance sector’s role in reducing mounting climate risks.’

But in a response statement, Consumer Watchdog pointed out that the working group excluded discussion of the major issues Californians currently face in the insurance marketplace.

These major issues include claims handling following recent wildfires; insurers refusing to reduce premiums or restore coverage when homeowners take steps to protect their homes from wildfire risk; and insurers having nearly exclusive power to choose who can and cannot purchase home insurance coverage after a wildfire.

Consumer Watchdog also claimed that the working group’s draft report deliberately ignores the insurance industry’s role in exacerbating climate change-induced severe weather by underwriting and investing in fossil fuel projects.

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