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Mercury Insurance Launches Programs to Help California Homeowners with Wildfire Risk

Mercury Insurance Launches Programs to Help California Homeowners with Wildfire Risk

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Wildfire season is well underway, with wildfires scorching a record breaking number of acres up and down California, and the peak of the season is yet to come. Mercury Insurance (NYSE: MCY) today announced two new programs the company is launching to help Californians better protect their homes and families if they live in areas prone to wildfires. Homeowners who take one or more steps to either harden their homes against wildfires or live in a community recognized by the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA) as a Firewise USA® site will be eligible to receive discounts of up to 18%.  And, homeowners who have a California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan policy are now able to strengthen their protection with Mercury’s new difference-in-conditions endorsement, which fills the gaps in their FAIR Plan coverage.

Mercury Insurance is one of the first companies to offer wildfire mitigation discounts to California homeowners living in the wildland urban interface. Homeowners who take property and community wildfire prevention measures could be eligible to save up to 18% on the wildfire premium portion of their insurance policy.

“We’re in this together, which is why Mercury is engineering solutions to encourage proactive actions that better protect homeowners from wildfires,” said Jane Li, Mercury Insurance’s director of product management. “It’s important for homeowners in these areas to take proactive steps to help shield their property from fire, and it’s just as important for everyone in the community to work together to reduce their shared ignition risks, which could save them money and improve their insurance eligibility.”

The property level discount applies to policies for hardened home structures and landscapes with sufficient defensible space. Installing a class “A” rated roof, using siding made of stucco, metal or

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California 2020 Legislation AB 3088

California 2020 Legislation AB 3088

During the eleventh hour of the 2020 legislative session, the State legislature approved 2 significant bills in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the potential to have far-reaching ramifications for mortgage servicers.

Assembly Bill 3088

The first of the bills this article discusses is Assembly Bill (AB) 3088,[1] which temporarily prevents evictions due to hardships related to COVID-19.  More specifically, and effective immediately, AB 3088 prevents eviction of tenants enduring financial hardship due to COVID-19 through January 2021 and delays rental recovery by landlords until March 2021.  AB 3088 only applies to residential tenants and landlords; however, no part of this bill forgives or cancels any payment obligations of a tenant.

Key provisions of AB 3088

  • A landlord must provide a notice to its tenants informing them of their rights under AB 3088 by September 30, 2020, or concurrently with any notice demanding rent or other payment obligations under the lease.
  • Tenants will have 15 business days to respond to the landlord’s demand to pay rent by returning a declaration signed under penalty of perjury, indicating that the tenant cannot pay the amount at issue because of COVID-19 related financial distress.
  • “COVID-19-related financial distress” means any of the following: (1) loss of income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) increased out-of-pocket expenses directly related to performing essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic or directly related to the health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; (3) responsibilities to care for children, elderly, disabled, or sick family member directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic that limit a tenant’s ability to earn income; or (4) other circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic that have reduced a tenant’s income or increased a tenant’s expenses.
  • Households making more than $100,000 annually or more than 130 percent of the county’s median income,
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California to create its own consumer financial protection agency

California to create its own consumer financial protection agency

SACRAMENTO — California will create a state consumer financial protection agency to fill a void left by federal regulators, who have pulled back on oversight during the Trump administration.



Gavin Newsom wearing a suit and tie: Gov. Gavin Newsom in a Sept. 18, 2019, file photo. On Friday, Newsom signed legislation establishing the state Department of Financial Protection and Innovation to regular credit reporting agencies and debt collectors.


© Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Gov. Gavin Newsom in a Sept. 18, 2019, file photo. On Friday, Newsom signed legislation establishing the state Department of Financial Protection and Innovation to regular credit reporting agencies and debt collectors.


Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Friday establishing the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, a restructured Department of Business Oversight that will expand its focus to credit reporting agencies, debt collectors and financial technology companies that have not previously been subject to state regulation.

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The new state department, Newsom said at an online signing ceremony, will “create conditions for innovation to flourish in a way where we can steward that and we can just work against its excesses. So we support risk-taking, not recklessness.”

AB1864 by Assemblywoman Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara, gives the state department authority to enforce the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 and regulations issued by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency created by that law.

The department will also be able to develop its own rules to prevent “unlawful, unfair, deceptive or abusive practices,” and seek financial penalties against service providers that engage in them.

In addition to the banks and credit unions that California already regulates, the state will now oversee services such as debt settlement, credit repair, check cashing, rent-to-own contracts and financing for retail sales. Out-of-state banks and some services, including mortgage lenders, escrow agents and investment advisers, are exempt from the law.

“For decades California has attempted to do more for consumers, and truthfully, we’ve fallen short,” Limón said. “Helping consumers ensure that they have an agency that looks out for

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