San Diego County Supervisors approve resolution calling out State Farm for canceled policies

County officials said local affected communities include Rancho Santa Fe, Vista, Lakeside, El Cajon, Encinitas, Normal Heights, Tierrasanta, Jamul, Ramona and Carmel Valley

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday opposing plans by State Farm and other major insurers to reduce homeowner policies in the state.

According to Vice Chair Terra Lawson-Remer's office, State Farm on March 20 announced that it would drop coverage for existing policyholders, "leaving 72,000 homeowners and rental property owners scrambling to find alternatives."

County officials said local affected communities include Rancho Santa Fe, Vista, Lakeside, El Cajon, Encinitas, Normal Heights, Tierrasanta, Jamul, Ramona and Carmel Valley.

In a statement to NBC 7, State Farm said its decision "was made after careful analysis of State Farm's financial health, which continues to be impacted by catastrophe exposure, reinsurance costs and the limitations of working within decades-old insurance regulations."

The county resolution formally opposes State Farm and other large insurance companies' decision "to abandon homeowners, renters and small business owners" and calls on them to work "together with the state insurance commissioner in modernizing the insurance marketplace to ensure long-term availability, affordability, and sustainability of coverage," according to Lawson-Remer.

The resolution also calls on state Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara "to ensure transparency and accountability in the rate-setting process, so that homeowners are getting a fair deal and protected from paying exorbitant rates," Lawson-Remer said.

State Farm is moving ahead with dropping hundreds of thousands of Californians from their homeowners insurance policies. Now, San Diego County Supervisor Tara Lawson-Remer wants to hold the insurance company accountable. NBC 7's Todd Strain reports on May 20, 2024.

Lawson-Remer, who announced the resolution in a Monday news conference, said the county "stood up to insurance companies for San Diegans."

"I will continue to fight for residents, renters and business owners and am ready to support the state insurance commissioner in any way possible as he works to modernize the regulations," she added.

Before the vote Tuesday, Lawson-Remer said many people living in her district have reached out about having their insurance canceled, including a staff member, with 880 affected.

"We are facing a crisis across California," said Lawson-Remer, who added the issue affects all county residents.

Supervisor Jim Desmond said he appreciated Lawson-Remer bringing the resolution forward and has heard from his constituents as well.

However, a resolution won't solve the problem, said Desmond, who added that Lara "has failed in his job," which is to find insurance companies that will better serve Californians.

Desmond the insurance crisis didn't happen overnight -- wildfires, inflation, rate caps and state overregulation have also played a role. He also urged state government leaders and insurance companies to work together to solve policy coverage problems.

Supervisor Joel Anderson said residents in his district were also impacted by insurance companies ending coverage, and praised Lara for his efforts. However, it was important that Lara fully understand the situation in Southern California, Anderson added.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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