A state senator from Santa Barbara has promoted a bill to clarify the responsibilities of insurance companies in mudslides caused by wildfires. Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson says people in Montecito have had to deal with deciphering insurance coverage while clearing mud.
"It says coverage shall be provided. Not in double negatives - like coverage shall not be denied."
Jackson says her bill clarifies insurance company responsibilities.
"The last thing we want is more confusion. That's the reason that I have brought this bill."
"It's costing people $100,000 just to clear the mud of their property. I mean it's just an enormous mess and the goal here is just to be clear on what the law calls for."
Jackson's bill changes the language in the insurance code to explicitly say coverage shall be provided if a wildfire causes a mudslide. The insurance industry says the language could lead to more litigation and other unintended consequences.
Last month, Santa Barbara County residents watched as a series of storms threatened their homes once again following the tragedy that struck in January. One photographer captured a homeowner watching as his property was being flooded by mudslides. In a tweet he wrote:
"Montecito resident Jeff Harms watches his home on the left as mud and water flows downstream the Montecito Creek as another series of storms hit. Harms lost his home during the January flooding that left 21 people dead. #CAstorm (Photos by Joel Angel Juárez)"
KFI reporter, Kris Ankarlo, captured footage of the Montecito storm as he drove up the 101.