Tag archives: insurance

Wildfire Risks Heating Up Homeowners Insurance Market
By Sharon Byrne   |   July 26, 2022

Last week was a big week for Montecito and California in homeowners insurance. At our Board Meeting, we hosted the California Department of Insurance and agents from Brown & Brown and Bridgepoint, who are finding policies for Montecitans. A Little Background After the Thomas Fire of December 2017, and the deadly Debris Flow, an emergency […]

Who Can Fix California’s Homeowners Insurance Woes? Insurance Commissioner Race Heats Up
By Sharon Byrne   |   April 26, 2022

Things are getting hotter regarding California homeowners insurance, and threat of wildfire is just one factor. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara is up for reelection this year and at least one candidate is laying out a viable case to replace him.  Last week, former California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner (2007-2011) ran an op-ed in the Los […]

New Regulations to Reward Fire Risk Reduction
By Sharon Byrne   |   March 15, 2022

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announces new regulations to improve wildfire safety and drive down cost of insurance. Under the proposed regulations, which could be in effect by this summer, insurance companies would be required to factor consumers’ and businesses’ wildfire safety actions into their pricing of residential and commercial coverage. The new regulations also […]

Montecito Association Meets
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 16, 2021

At this month’s Montecito Association Board of Directors meeting, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Lieutenant Butch Arnoldi reported that Pierre Lafond Market in the Upper Village was broken into earlier this week, in a similar fashion as a burglary that occurred in July. Both glass doors were broken, and suspects removed cash registers and quickly fled […]

Volatility in Homeowners Insurance Market Continues Amid Another Unprecedented Fire Season
By Sharon Byrne   |   August 5, 2021

Rate hikes, non-renewals, and cancellations of homeowners insurance have been hot topics for the past three years, and Montecito’s issues on this front trend with problems statewide.  Here’s a quick recap: 2019 March: Montecito homeowners get notices of non-renewal. They struggle to find replacement policies, with price shocks — up to 10 times what they […]

Struggling with Homeowner’s Insurance?
By Sharon Byrne   |   October 29, 2020

Revelations From the California Insurance Commissioner’s Marathon Virtual Hearing The good news from the pandemic: the state has learned how to do Zoom. We no longer have to trek to Sacramento to work with state officials; we can now do it from our living rooms. Direct democracy in action! We met Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara last […]

Vive La France
By Jerold Oshinsky   |   June 11, 2020

Policyholder lawyers in the USA are singing “La Marseillaise” after a decision last week in Paris holding in favor of a French restaurant group seeking insurance coverage for a COVID-related “administrative closure” of its four restaurants in Paris which caused lost profits and extra expense. This is an “order of civil authority” in our parlance. […]

It’s a Wonderful Life (Really?)
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   May 28, 2020

The American Film Institute honored Frank Capra by selecting his movie It’s A Wonderful Life as the Most Inspirational Film of all time. It was a great pick. Not only has it become a “Christmas Classic” for decades, but Frank Capra is quoted as saying it was his favorite film of all the incredible classics […]

Medicare Explained
By Christopher Gallo   |   April 16, 2020

Most people think of Medicare as the health insurance nirvana: get to age 65 and there’s a free healthcare plan waiting to take you through retirement. With political debate centering around expanding the program, it’s important to understand what it will provide and what it won’t. First, who qualifies? With more than 50 million people […]

Insurance Renewal Latest
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 5, 2020

Later this month, the California Assembly Insurance Committee will hear Assembly Bill 2367 (AB2367), which was introduced on February 18 by Assembly Members Monique Limon from Santa Barbara County and Lorena Gonzalez from San Diego County. The bill would, in part, create a Wildfire Resilience Task Force, which would include the Insurance Commissioner, the Director […]

Coronavirus and Insurance Coverage
By Jerold Oshinsky   |   February 27, 2020

The recent coronavirus outbreak has impacted all aspects of society: health, travel, and business. Although it is difficult to calculate the full extent of the damage that will be caused by this emerging pandemic, and how it will ultimately impact various industries, the virus has already led to business closures, suspension and cancellation of travel, […]

Homeowner’s Coverage Issues
By Jerold Oshinsky   |   February 13, 2020

Many of us living here in Montecito have confronted actual or potential risk of loss to our homes in the last several years from the massive fires and mudslides that attacked our community. A question, critical to our economic well-being, is whether our homeowner’s insurance protects us against such calamities. We would hope that the […]

Field & Fort Opens in Summerland
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 21, 2019

Nearly two years after the closure of Cantwell’s in Summerland, a new furniture and décor shop, as well as a café, has opened in the prominent building on the eastern end of Lillie Avenue. Field + Fort is the brainchild of Santa Barbara designer Kyle Irwin and his business partner and friend, Susie Bechtel, who […]

A Visit from Insurance Commissioner Lara
By J'Amy Brown   |   August 22, 2019

Q: I am a Montecito resident, still frustrated by my Thomas Fire and Debris Flow unsettled insurance claim. I heard the California State Insurance Commissioner visited Montecito recently. How come the public didn’t know about this public official’s visit? I would have loved to have bent his ear. A: On August 9, Assemblywoman Monique Limón […]

Waiting for the Big One
By Bob Hazard   |   July 11, 2019

Montecito received a warning last week from two of California’s biggest earthquakes in the last 20 years, a 6.4 magnitude quake last Thursday on the 4th of July, followed by a 7.1 magnitude shake and quake 34 hours later at 8 pm Friday evening. Both quakes originated in the Mojave high-desert region near Ridgecrest, a […]

Paul Cashman Opens Montecito Office
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   June 20, 2019

Local State Farm insurance agent Paul Cashman has expanded his business to Montecito, taking over Buzz Faull’s State Farm office on Coast Village Road. “I’m really looking forward to this new phase of my career,” Cashman told us last week. “Helping the community of Montecito gives me great satisfaction,” he said, adding that Faull had […]

The Search For “Affordable” Healthcare
By Bob Hazard   |   June 6, 2019

For the majority of the 8,965 residents of Montecito, the cost of healthcare is affordable. Until it is not. Healthcare becomes less affordable, even for affluent residents, when they face the cost of chronic conditions like cancer, when they are forced to finance end-of-life care, when very expensive drugs are prescribed, or when unexpected medical […]

Why You Should Join the Montecito Association
By Sharon Byrne   |   May 9, 2019

Spring is gorgeous around these parts, and it is also the time of year when we do our annual membership drive. We’d very much like to extend an invitation to you to join the Montecito Association, if you’re not already a member. We are offering a special three-day emergency safety kit this year as a […]

Montecito Association Latest
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   April 18, 2019

Earlier this week, the Montecito Association’s new ad hoc committee met to discuss insurance woes and debris flow zones. “We heard from our members that they really feel a need for more information about getting and keeping insurance, as many of them are being hit with non-renewals from their insurance companies,” said Sharon Byrne, the […]

Insurance Woes
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 14, 2019

Many residents in Montecito, Santa Barbara, and in both northern and southern Santa Barbara Counties are receiving non-renewals from their insurance companies, a topic that has been discussed at length in both in-person forums as well as online at NextDoor.com, a neighborhood social media site.  Joanne Gonzales, Vice President of local insurance agency Brown & […]