Winery, ranch affected by wildfire in wine country Eligible for ultimate coverage from state – CBS San Francisco

NAPA (AP) – Napa wineries and others hit hard by the massive wildfires in the wine-producing nation of California and elsewhere will soon be able to participate in their insurance plans. state, officials said Friday.

Hundreds of farmers, ranchers, growers, and other outdoor businesses previously ineligible for coverage will be eligible starting February 1 under the California FAIR Plan, officially California’s Fair Access to Insurance Claims Plan.

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Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara on Friday approved the new ranch insurance, originally authorized under last year’s law supported by the California Farm Bureau, the California Wine Growers Association and the Wine Institute.

That would “add much-needed protection to farmers and ranchers who have found their insurance policies canceled or not renewed,” said agriculture office president Jamie Johansson. “Given the current wildfire challenges in California, our farming community is fearful of what could happen this year without this additional coverage.”

Approval will allow plan administrators to finalize the details needed to secure the farm’s assets, a process that FAIR California President Anneliese Jivan said will be completed by May 1. 2.

That would allow farmers who cannot purchase property insurance from other insurers to purchase basic fire insurance through the FAIR Plan. The plan is an insurance group established by law in 1968 and funded by private insurers to cover people in bushfire-prone areas who cannot receive insurance because the risk is too great.

Since 2018 alone, California has seen more than 32,700 wildfires destroy more than 38,400 structures and burn more than 13,220 square miles (34,239 square kilometers).

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Among the vulnerable areas are more than 25 million acres (10 million hectares) of California’s farmland,

The Glass Fire blazed through the hills of Napa and Sonoma counties in the heart of Northern California wine regions in 2020, and a blaze that began as a wind-blown rural blaze in 2017 quickly died down. equal to an entire neighborhood of homes in the city of Santa Rosa.

The Glass Fire and the second fire that burned through Napa County in 2020 caused more than $175 million in agricultural-related damages, including infrastructure damage, according to a legislative analysis. agriculture exceeds 35 million USD.

Such risks can render agribusinesses untenable through traditional insurance, thereby delivering an impact even if the property exists, according to the farm office.

Without insurance, agribusinesses cannot qualify for financial credit. And many farmers rely on large loans to pay for the year’s crop, paid back after the harvest. They often use the farm itself as collateral.

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Dustin Huang

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