California insurance coverage commissioner sponsors warmth wave rating laws

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“Just as we have air quality warnings, tropical hurricane categories and forest fire warnings, California needs a way to warn our residents of extreme heat waves that will only get more deadly in years to come,” Lara said in a statement. “There is no insurance against heat. If we act now to put in a ranking system like other disasters, we can help prevent the death of this silent killer, especially among the most vulnerable people like our seniors. “

The idea of ​​heatwave classification was first suggested in a climate insurance report published by Commissioner Lara and the California Climate Insurance Working Group in July 2021. This report examined how low-income communities, seniors and the underinsured can be protected from the effects of climate change.

Lara also announced in an official statement that the CDI will conduct another study to identify the extreme protection gap in thermal insurance in health care and other areas for affected communities in Southern California.

The proposed bill will be formally enacted when the California State Legislature convenes in January 2022.

In a press release, CDI cited the latest data from the state’s Climate Assessment projects, which found that California heat waves will become more intense, longer and more frequent in the coming years. From 1980 to 2000, Los Angeles had an average of six extremely hot days a year. But by 2050, data suggests that the span of annual extreme hot days could reach 22 days. Hospital visits related to heat stroke have also increased recently, as emergency rooms rose 10 times normal in 2020 during Los Angeles County’s 121-degree heat. This year’s California heat wave also broke records: Sacramento recorded 109 degrees and Coachella Valley recorded 123 degrees – the hottest year ever.

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