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Letter To The Editor

I have been a professional advocate for insurance consumers for nearly 40 years

I have been a professional advocate for insurance consumers for nearly 40 years, working to prevent unfair sales and claim practices and improve disaster resilience and recovery. During that time I’ve met and worked with hundreds of elected officials. Among those who stand out as true protectors of their constituents’ best interests is Mariposa Supervisor Rosemarie Smallcombe.

The people in your community should know about the work she has done to help restore affordable, available home insurance options.

Sudden and widespread home insurance cancellations in regions hit by wildfires have been a problem in isolated areas for decades, but when drought conditions led to a tree mortality crisis in 2016, the problem worsened and spread throughout the state. That was the year I met Rosemarie in Sacramento and gained an invaluable ally in the fight for fair insurance practices.

As an appointed member of then-Governor Brown’s Tree Mortality Task Force, and a leader on its Insurance Sub-Group, Rosemarie did the gritty work of getting information out of insurance companies about how they choose and reject customers, and figuring out how to help people deal with the home insurance crisis in our state.

Supervisor Smallcombe has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce wildfire risk and restore affordable, available options for people to keep their homes insured. The work is paying off. California law now says insurance companies can’t drop customers who live in a wildfire area for two years, one for those who live near the area. was. That’s a year during which you can prepare, negotiate, and consider alternatives.

The CA Department of Insurance website now hosts an “insurance finder” tool. This happened because Rosemarie Smallcombe and others made phone calls to legislators and met with their staffs, and pushed until the law was passed and signed.

More than 600,000 homeowners in California have already been protected by the new law. Rosemarie and I aren’t finished. We want you to have the assurance that your insurance company will reward you for the time and money you invest to harden your home and create defensible space around it.

After seeing firsthand how effective Rosemarie Smallcombe has been in tackling serious and complicated problems, I hope voters will see the wisdom of keeping her on the job.

Amy Bach, Co-Founder, United Policyholders, www.uphelp.org

For reference, please see: https://uphelp.org/advocacy/wrap-initiative/

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