Aug. 15 – Oregon insurance companies have not used and do not plan to use a controversial wildfire hazard map to determine coverage or premium costs, according to a survey released by a state agency on August 15.
The results of the investigation contradict one of the complaints that prompted the
Property owners and state lawmakers have cited cases in which residents whose property was deemed high or extreme fire risk on the map were having trouble with their insurance, including policies that didn’t. were not extended.
The risk map is part of Senate Bill 762, a 2021 bill that the legislature passed and
The bill addresses several issues related to wildfires in the state, including preventing wildfires and protecting rural properties from fires. The bill required the state to draw up a map, in
Homeowners who are both in WUI and who are at high or extreme risk could be required under Senate Bill 762 to take steps, such as tree trimming, to protect their properties. These residents may also be required to comply with stricter building codes.
But it was concern about the potential impact of the fire risk map on residents’ insurance that prompted many complaints, including from
Mukumoto said the state was not aggressive enough to let the public know about the map and seek public comment on it.
As for claims that the card influences insurance companies, state officials say they are unfounded.
The state survey asked the nearly 150 insurance companies that provide coverage for homeowners in
—Does the company use the state wildfire map for pricing or underwriting?
(Underwriting determines premium costs and underwriting is the risk assessment process of offering a policy.)
—Does the company use the state wildfire map for other purposes?
—Does the company plan to use the state wildfire map for any purpose in the future?
According to the press release, all of the companies said they were not using the card for rating or underwriting, nor did they intend to use it.
The press release also noted that the state has not received any requests for insurance rate changes that include the fire hazard map as a factor.
“This confirms what we knew: insurance companies are not using the state wildfire hazard map,” the Oregon insurance commissioner said.
Consumers who have questions or complaints about insurance can contact the
The bulletin said that although the companies denied using the card, “it may be a violation of the Insurance Code to wrongly assign rate increases or decisions to cancel coverage to the fire risk card. of state forest”.
“It is extremely important that consumers receive accurate information about decisions made regarding their policies,” the bulletin said.
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