NBC 7 Responds

New State Laws Aim to Stop Fraud, Expand Access to Insurance

NBC 7 Responds looks at a few state laws that could potentially help millions of Californians

NBC Universal, Inc.

Jan. 1, 2023, saw a number of new laws take effect, including some that hope to expand insurance access and fight insurance-related fraud. If you've ever tried to get disaster insurance for your home or got calls about your car's extended warranty, these could help.

Disaster insurance is hard to get for some homeowners in the state. That's why several programs have been proposed to try and expand access. This law allows the creation of Climate Resilience Districts statewide.

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) says these districts could "help communities mitigate risk in advance of a disaster and promote recovery." Each district would be able to undertake projects to help protect communities, lowering the risk of disaster in hopes of expanding insurance access.

Another law could help people who may have bought insurance they didn't need or that turned out to be fake. SB 1040 authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to order repayment from people who sold insurance without the necessary licenses from the state. This includes so-called "extended vehicle warranties" that are sold illegally over the phone.

In July, NBC 7 Responds told you how an insurance agent was accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a client. Since then, the CDI has brought other charges against a number of other agents in the state.

This new law tries to help in the fight against fraud. SB 1242 clarifies the anti-fraud education requirements for agents and brokers. It also clarifies how the alleged fraud should be reported to the CDI.

These three laws are just a few of the new ones that aim to protect Californians from insurance-related issues. You can learn more at the CDI's website here.

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