crop insurance

California FAIR Plan Expansion Awaits Governor Newsom’s Signature

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Legislative

The legislation that would provide a California FAIR plan expansion passed through the California Assembly on August 24. Co-sponsored by the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) and the California Department of Insurance, Senate Bill 505 was brought forward by state Senator Susan Rubio. The California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements, or FAIR Plan, serves as the state’s insurer of last resort. It has become increasingly more important over the past decade with California experiencing historic wildfires and many farming operations encountering difficulty in obtaining insurance coverage.

FAIR Plan Expansion

“Farmers and ranchers have truly felt the pain of California’s insurance crisis,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said in a press release. “Many lost their insurance after devastating California wildfires. We earlier worked with Sen. Rubio to help them gain access to coverage under the FAIR plan. Now we thank her for her leadership on SB 505, which will help those farmers and ranchers—and all Californians—gain access to affordable residential and commercial property insurance.”

The California FAIR Plan expansion would allow commercial policies to move back to the competitive market with coverage protecting ag operations. Senator Rubio has been involved in other efforts to increase insurance coverage options for farmers and ranchers. In 2021, Senator Rubio authored Senate Bill 11 which allowed agricultural properties to acquire fire insurance coverage under the FAIR Plan. CFBF is hopeful that SB 505 will receive the same support from Governor Gavin Newsom and provide farmers with increased insurance options.

“Our farmers and ranchers want to focus on producing America’s food supply, not on trying to become experts in procuring what was once routine insurance coverage,” Johansson noted. “We urge Gov. Newsom to support them by signing this important legislation.”

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West