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Senator for the 22nd District - Ed Hernandez

07/23/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/24/2021 04:40

Senator Susan Rubio Bill to Protect California Farms from Wildfires Signed by Governor

SACRAMENTO - Gov. Gavin Newsom today signed a bill by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) that will help protect farms unable to obtain insurance due to devastating wildfires. The Legislature added an urgency clause to Senate Bill 11, allowing it to take effect immediately.

'In order for California to remain the breadbasket of the world, we have to support and protect our farms in the face of devastating wildfires,' said Senator Rubio, Chair of the Senate Insurance Committee. 'With this signing, thousands of farmers will be helped by allowing them to obtain coverage through the FAIR Plan. I want to thank Gov. Newsom for his support of this legislation. I know he understands the urgency. Without insurance, farmers cannot access loans to update equipment, plant their crop, or pay workers, putting their farm at risk of closing. Ensuring farmers can access the FAIR Plan for coverage is a critical step in making sure that doesn't happen.'

'I thank Governor Newsom for acting quickly to protect our farmers, growers, and vintners who are facing tremendous hardships because insurance companies are deciding to non-renew them or refusing to write them commercial insurance,' said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. 'My Department staff will do our part to implement Senate Bill 11, helping to close the commercial insurance coverage gaps that are leaving many of our agribusinesses exposed to major losses. I applaud Senator Rubio for her leadership in authoring this important bill and the California Farm Bureau Federation for sponsoring this important measure to provide needed support to this vital sector of our state's economy.'

'Thank you to Governor Newsom and Senator Rubio for your leadership on SB 11,' said Anneliese Jivan, president of the FAIR Plan. 'The FAIR Plan appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with the California Farm Bureau and the California Department of Insurance to address the critical need to expand insurance coverage options for commercial farms in California. The FAIR Plan offers peace of mind for Californians who cannot obtain insurance from the voluntary market, and we are pleased this option is being extended to farmers in our state.'

Unlike most businesses, farms are excluded from the Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan, which serves as a coverage of last resort. SB 11 amends California law to allow the Plan to sell commercial coverage to farms. Permanent structures used primarily for the production of commercial agricultural commodities or livestock will be eligible for basic property insurance via the Plan.

The urgency clause requires the Plan to immediate begin work on submitting a rate filing offering this coverage to the Department of Insurance.

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Media Contact: Edward Barrera, [email protected]