California bill seeks to clarify mudslide insurance
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Senate has approved legislation clarifying insurance coverage following mudslides near Santa Barbara.
Insurance policies generally cover damage from fires but not mudslides. The Santa Barbara mudslides were triggered by a wildfire, creating confusion about whether damage was covered by insurance.
In such cases where multiple factors combine to destroy property, courts have ruled that insurers must pay if the policy covers the most important cause of damage.
Most insurers have agreed to cover damage in Santa Barbara. Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson says enshrining the existing legal doctrine in law should help future mudslide victims avoid fights with their insurance company.
Insurers say the bill could require them to raise their rates or decline coverage in some areas.
SB917 was approved Thursday and goes next to the Assembly.