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    New California Insurance Laws 2019

    By JoLynn M. Scharrer

    A number of new California laws impacting the insurance industry took effect at the start of the New Year.“In 2019 consumers, and in particular seniors and disaster survivors, will benefit from new insurance laws we sponsored to provide greater protection,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.“ These new laws will help safeguard consumers as they recover from disasters and other life changing events.” Here is a brief summary of key developments from the Hunt Ortmann Insurance Practice Group. Be on the lookout for our next update concerning new case developments in the employment context.

    AB 1797 – Replacement cost estimate
    On July 1, 2019, Assembly Bill 1797 will require insurers to either provide a policyholder with a full replacement cost estimate every other year or apply an inflation factor to the dwelling limit at each property policy renewal and clearly offer the consumer the option to obtain a full replacement cost estimate.

    SB 894 – Renewal and Additional Living Expense coverage
    Senate Bill 894, effective January 1, 2019, permits underinsured homeowners to combine portions of their home insurance policy coverage in order to rebuild their homes sooner. It also extends the insurance policy renewal protections for a homeowner suffering a total loss from one renewal to two renewals or 24 months. This law allows consumers facing a total loss to generally have three years to utilize their Additional Living Expenses coverage, up from the current two.

    AB 1799 – Insurance policy documents
    This law clarifies that insurers are required to provide one free, full set of policy documents, including any endorsements, and the policy declarations page, within 30 calendar days of a covered loss, upon request of the policyholder. This bill was effective January 1, 2019.

    For more information about these new laws, please contact JoLynn Scharrer, head of the Hunt Ortmann Insurance Practice Group at