Bay Space Assemblyman Marc Levine to run for state insurance coverage commissioner

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Assemblyman Marc Levine introduced Monday that he’ll forgo the prospect for sixth and ultimate time period within the Legislature to run subsequent yr for state insurance coverage commissioner, a place held by Ricardo Lara, a fellow Democrat.

Levine, a Greenbrae resident, mentioned Lara has not been daring sufficient as a regulator, significantly in his actions to make sure that Californians will proceed to have the ability to buy reasonably priced fireplace insurance coverage.

“I believe it is very important name out an absence of motion,” Levine mentioned, “and chart a really strident course to guard Californians.”

Levine mentioned he just lately invited constituents who had skilled issues renewing their fireplace insurance coverage or affording will increase in fireplace insurance coverage charges to contact his workplace.

“Over the course of a weekend, over 50 constituents reached out to me and shared their tales,” Levine mentioned. “That is indicative of the problem throughout California. {The marketplace} is unhealthy. We see insurers leaving ZIP codes all through California.”

At the same time as Levine was unveiling his candidacy Monday, Lara introduced that he had “ordered insurance coverage firms to protect residential insurance coverage protection for greater than 325,000 policyholders who’ve been affected by devastating Northern California wildfires throughout 22 counties.”

“My moratorium orders assist present short-term aid as we deal with the basis causes of those ever-intensifying pure disasters,” Lara mentioned.

The order protects these dwelling throughout the perimeter or adjoining ZIP code of a declared wildfire catastrophe no matter whether or not they suffered a loss. The order impacts components of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Glen, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba counties.

“That’s the fundamental minimal that the insurance coverage commissioner can do,” Levine mentioned. “However we will do much more.”

Levine has launched Meeting Invoice 1522, which might create a “California Wildfire Insurance coverage Authority” to function a market for catastrophic wildfire insurance coverage. The fund — financed by state contributions, income bonds and assessments — would reimburse collaborating insurers for wildfire losses totaling over $100 million annually.

The invoice would additionally require insurers to offer a reduction of as much as 20% to a residential or industrial property proprietor who hardens their properties in opposition to wildfire.

Different objectives Levine says he would pursue as insurance coverage commissioner embrace creating a brand new medical health insurance shopper’s “invoice of rights”; defending Californians from insurance coverage discrimination primarily based on schooling, financial standing or race; and preventing insurance coverage worth gouging.

“I’m prepared to stay my neck out and run for this workplace,” Levine mentioned, “to ensure we’re capable of meet these challenges.”

Levine, who was elected to the Meeting in 2012, is going through time period limits that cap his potential time within the Legislature at two extra years.

David McCuan, a professor within the political science division at Sonoma State College, mentioned Levine’s announcement doesn’t come as a giant shock.

“He’s been on the lookout for what comes subsequent for some time,” McCuan mentioned. “That has included trying up and down the poll and in addition taking a look at county supervisor positions as nicely.”

McCuan mentioned there are a few explanation why Levine would wish to make a change now relatively than serve out a ultimate time period within the Meeting.

One is that the boundaries of Meeting and state Senate districts are because of be redrawn by the tip of the yr, he mentioned. The opposite is that just about half of the Legislature can be on the lookout for new jobs quickly because of time period limits.

“Levine is emblematic of the place many of the Legislature is,” McCuan mentioned. “Forty-six % of the legislature adjustments over between now and 2024. There may be going to be quite a lot of operating for the exits.”

In his assertion saying his candidacy, Levine mentioned he has “turn into recognized for his stands in opposition to corruption and darkish cash in politics.”

McCuan mentioned, “That doesn’t go the odor check.”

Levine was elected at age 38 by upsetting Assemblyman Michael Allen. The state Democratic Occasion spent closely in an try and elect Allen whereas Levine actively courted Republican voters. He additionally benefited from spending by two massive agricultural commerce associations that opposed Allen due to his assist for laws defending farmworkers.

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