Gov. Brown signs home replacement-cost legislation

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation this week requiring insurance companies to provide homeowners an estimate every two years how much it would cost to replace their homes.

The legislation, AB 1797, sponsored by Assembly member Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, was in response to the plight many residents faced in the aftermath of last year’s wildfires. A large number of fire victims found themselves severely underinsured between their insurance payouts and the overall cost of rebuilding. Some face deficits as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Insurers said the discrepancy was a result of homeowners not rechecking their policies on a regular basis and inflation in both labor and materials costs.

Policymakers, however, argued that the onus should be on the insurance industry because insurers have greater resources to provide such an estimate.

The bill, signed into law Monday, was part of legislative package sponsored by North Bay lawmakers in the wildfire aftermath. The insurance industry, however, thwarted measures that would have provided retroactive relief to fire victims.

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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