After a devastating, and expensive, wildfire season California officials are looking to better prepare their state for the next onslaught of natural disasters. While climate change may still be up for political debate, the realities on the ground of more frequent and more several weather-related events need to be addressed. In an effort to do so, two California officials have proposed that the state considers purchasing a private insurance plan to help cover wildfire expenses.
According to the Associated Press, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Treasurer Fiona Ma were the two people who proposed that California lawmakers allow the state to purchase a private insurance policy.
While a state purchasing a private insurance policy is a new idea, it does make sense. After all, the insurance model would remain the same, just with higher associated costs. It works just like your home insurance, but for our actual state,” Lara said to The Hill.
It is worth noting that California would not be the first state to adopt a private insurance policy. As the AP points out, California would be following the models of Oregon, the World Bank and the Federal Emergency Management Agency if they decided to implement a private policy approach.
One of the advantages this would bring the state would be making wildfire costs more predictable. With an insurance policy you know exactly what costs you are responsible for, and are thus able to budget more appropriately.
Whether California goes with a private insurance policy or not, it is clear that the state needs to do something to deal with the growing costs of natural disasters. According to the AP, California has exceeded its emergency budget in seven out of the last ten years.