California Governor Announces Workers’ Comp Presumption for COVID-19

California Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced that workers who contract COVID-19 while on the job may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation.

The governor signed an executive order that creates a time-limited rebuttable presumption for accessing workers’ comp benefits applicable to Californians who must work outside of their homes during the stay at home order.

California Issues Cease And Desist over Illegal Extended Warranties

The California Department of Insurance issued a cease and desist order on Omega Vehicle Services LLC, doing business as Delta Auto Protect, and its controlling manager, Charles Seruya, for allegedly selling illegal vehicle service contracts to over twenty California consumers.

The order alleges both Delta Auto Protect and Seruya were not licensed by the CDI and improperly denied claims, illegally sold contracts they did not first file with the department directly to consumers, and used an unapproved backup insurer.

California Earthquake Authority Named Administrator of Wildfire Fund

The California Catastrophe Response Council, which oversees the Wildfire Fund, has formally named the California Earthquake Authority the fund’s administrator.

The Wildfire Fund was established by the California Legislature, under Assembly Bill 1054 and Assembly Bill 111, and was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on July 12, 2019. At that time, CEA was designated the fund’s interim administrator until the nine-member California Catastrophe Response Council could be formed and appoint an administrator.

California Tells Insurers to Investigate All COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara on Tuesday issued a notice requiring insurance companies and other California Department of Insurance licensees to comply with their obligations to fairly investigate all business interruption claims caused by COVID-19.

The notice follows numerous complaints from businesses, public officials, and other stakeholders of certain insurance representatives attempting to dissuade business policyholders affected by COVID-19 from filing a notice of claim under business interruption insurance coverage or refusing to open and investigate these claims upon receipt of a notice of claim, according to the CDI.

Failure to Act on Climate Change Could Make Weather Risks Uninsurable: Swiss Re

Global warming will lead to growing intensity and frequency of severe weather events, rising losses, as well as greater uncertainty in the assessment of these events by the insurance industry, which could make some weather risks uninsurable, according to a report published by Swiss Re.

“Failure to take immediate, tangible action to confront warming temperatures could lead to climate systems reaching irreversible tipping points,” said the sigma report titled “Natural catastrophes in times of economic accumulation and climate change.”

California Bill Aimed at Property Insurance in Communities Investing in Wildfire Prevention

Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, has introduced Assembly Bill 3258, which would require property insurance providers to take into consideration local government investments in wildfire prevention when determining insurance rates.

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and a group of Legislators earlier this month introduced Assembly Bill 2367, which is being called Renew California. That bill would require admitted insurance companies to write or renew policies for existing homes in communities that meet a new statewide standard for fire-hardening. The bill also would authorize the insurance commissioner to require insurance companies to offer financial incentives for homeowners to do the work to make their homes more fire-safe.

Could Companies Be Forced to Insure Homes in Wildfire Zones?

(TNS) — Insurance companies fleeing high-risk fire zones would have to stay put and even offer discounts if homeowners in those areas prepare for wildfires on a community-wide scale, under a new bill proposed in Sacramento on Tuesday.

The bill, AB 2367, has the backing of state Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. It would mandate that starting in 2021, insurers would have to renew policies and continue to write new ones in communities that meet state standards for firescaping, or home hardening, that would be established before the law takes effect.

Dive Boat on Which 34 Died in Southern California Exempt From Safety Rules

The diving boat that caught fire on Labor Day off Southern California, killing 34 people, was among hundreds of small vessels exempted by the U.S. Coast Guard from stricter safety rules designed to make it easier for passengers to escape, according to a newspaper report Monday.

The Conception was one of 325 boats built before 1996 and given exemptions from standards imposed on new vessels, according to records cited by the Los Angeles Times. The newer rules required escape hatches at least 32 inches wide and illuminated exit signs.

Cyber Insurers Need Loss Data to Properly Underwrite Risks

While there are “huge opportunities” on the horizon for the cyber insurance industry, cyber insurance underwriters still face the challenge of not having enough historical data to work with.

“It’s really scary to underwrite something when you just don’t know what the potential losses could be,” said Brian Meredith, managing director at UBS Group AG, during a panel discussion on trends in the property/casualty insurance sector at S&P’s 2019 Global Insurance Conference in New York. “There’s lots of opportunity here, but we need a lot more data to expand it.”

Cal/OSHA Cites Solar Panel Installer $193K for Willful Fall Protection Violation

Cal/OSHA has cited an Anaheim, Calif. solar panel installation company $193,905 for multiple serious workplace safety hazards including one willful serious accident-related violation, following an investigation of a worker who was seriously injured after they fell from the roof of an Oakland home.

Cal/OSHA determined that Nexus Energy Systems Inc. did not provide required fall protection for their workers.

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