SALEM, Ore. – An insurance reform bill, drafted by Ashland State Representative Pam Marsh, has passed both chambers in Salem and is headed to the Governor’s desk.
House Bill 2982 requires insurance companies to settle with homeowners after a disaster.
It allows Oregonians who experience a total loss in a major disaster, like a wildfire, to receive a 70% payout of personal property coverage.
Residents could choose instead to file an itemized list of losses, but Representative Marsh said that can be traumatizing for survivors.
Marsh said that the bill stems from lessons learned in the Almeda Fire.
She said that many insurance companies stepped up to help Almeda victims, but the state had no leverage over the ones that didn’t.
“We’re trying to take the lessons that we’ve observed and learned out of Almeda and the other fires that happened in the Labor Day 2020 experience, learn from them, and make sure that we’ve addressed some of the problems that have been so difficult for survivors of those disasters,” Representative Marsh said.
Marsh said that the bill won’t raise insurance rates.
If it becomes law, she said that Oregon would provide the strongest consumer protections for wildfire victims who lose everything in the U.S.
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