vineyard on fire
08 20 2020: Wide view of smoke emanating from the Walbridge Fire behind one of many vineyards in the area. Santa Rosa, CA. Photo By Gibson Outdoor Photo /

Press Release Provided by the California Farm Bureau Federation

With California farmers and ranchers finding increasing difficulty in purchasing wildfire insurance for their businesses and properties, the California Farm Bureau welcomed today’s call by the state insurance commissioner for data on commercial insurance coverage.

California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson said he hopes the request from Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will lead to more sustainable insurance coverage for farmers and ranchers.

“We thank Commissioner Lara for leading the efforts to bring certainty back to the wildfire insurance marketplace,” Johansson said. “Farmers and ranchers from around the state have told us they have been unable to renew insurance and have not been able to find replacement coverage. Commissioner Lara’s action should help us determine the breadth and depth of the problem.”

In a notice issued today, Lara directed insurance companies to provide data about the availability of commercial insurance for businesses including farms, ranches, timber harvesting operations, wineries, cotton gins and other agricultural businesses.

“Farm Bureau has been working with Commissioner Lara and insurance companies to stabilize the insurance market for California farms and ranches,” Johansson said. “We believe the commissioner’s action will help us move toward a long-term solution.”

Legislation sponsored by the California Farm Bureau would also address the problem by specifically authorizing the state’s insurer of last resort, the California FAIR Plan, to underwrite insurance coverage for commercial farms and ranches. The legislation, Senate Bill 11 by Susan Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, received unanimous support from the Senate Insurance Committee last week.

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