Proposed Bill to Help Homeowners Recover Mudslide Losses

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Source: Office of Hannah-Beth Jackson

Legislation by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to help Montecito and other California homeowners whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by fire-induced mudslides, passed off the Senate floor today on a 27 to 12 vote and now heads to Governor Brown. 

Senate Bill 917 clarifies that, under current law, an insurance policy covers loss or damage resulting from a mudslide or debris flow if the acts were attributable to a condition already covered by the policy, such as wildfires.

The bill would help Montecito homeowners whose home insurance coverage of mudslide losses was unclear following the Montecito debris flow, which killed at least 23 residents, injured many others and damaged or destroyed almost 10 percent of Montecito’s homes. While most residents have fire insurance, few had purchased optional flood insurance. The mudslide resulted when significant rains fell upon a burn scar left by the Thomas Fire.

“Following a tragedy like the deadly Montecito debris flow, residents deserve timely and appropriate resolution of their claims,” said Senator Jackson. “SB 917 will help California homeowners who are still struggling to rebuild by clarifying that providers are required to cover losses incurred from fire-induced destruction.”

Governor Brown has until September 30 to sign SB 917.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

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