On Tuesday May 28th, District II Supervisor Ed Scofield brought a Letter of Concern to the Board of Supervisors regarding the availability and affordability of homeowners' fire insurance In Nevada County. The Letter, submitted to State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, outlined the potential severity of the issue with approximately 76% of homeowner's properties being located in elevated and extreme wildfire danger areas.
Letter of Concern to Department of Insurance
As insurance companies begin to apply different risk models to evaluate the new heightened risks of wildfires as catastrophic events, there is very little transparency, no standardization on risk modeling or how fire mitigation activities at the individual, neighborhood, and regional levels are being incorporated. The Letter of Concern called for increased transparency and uniform risk modeling standards to be applied across the insurance industry that take into consideration a) individual homeowner fire mitigation efforts, b) local certification programs, c) neighborhood mitigation programs, and d) regional fire mitigation activities at the local and state levels.
The Letter urged the Department of Insurance to ensure that local governments are a part of the conversation on how to best manage the risks and costs associated with catastrophic events so that California residents are not left in financial jeopardy. The Board unanimously approved the letter and submitted it to the Insurance Commissioner. During the meeting, the Board commented on the gravity and importance of the issue for Nevada County residents.
County Involvement in State Efforts
Supervisor Scofield and Senior Administrative Analyst Jeffrey Thorsby were members of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Resiliency Advisory Board workgroup to advocate and advance resiliency policies that address prevention, response and recovery for crisis and catastrophic events, including wildfire.
Supervisor Scofield and County Executive staff will be attending an Emergency Management Summit in Sacramento on Monday, June 3rd, that the Governor's Office in partnership with CSAC and the League of California Cities is co-sponsoring. The summit will bring together State and local partners to discuss disaster recovery efforts and building collective resilience and emergency preparedness. The event will feature opening remarks from Governor Newsom and a plenary session, with breakout sessions scheduled for the afternoon.