Farm Bureau applauds state Senate passage of SB 505

The California Farm Bureau is applauding the state Senate for its passage of Senate Bill 505, which was approved with resounding, bipartisan support and now moves to the state Assembly.

Senate Bill 505 expands the insurance “clearinghouse” program of the California FAIR Plan, the state’s insurer of last resort, to allow commercial insurance policies under the FAIR Plan to move back to the admitted commercial market. California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara is a co-sponsor of SB 505, along with the California Farm Bureau.

The Farm Bureau previously worked with Commissioner Lara and Sen. Susan Rubio to pass SB 11 in 2021. That bill allowed farmers and ranchers who lost or were denied coverage in the competitive insurance market after devastating wildfires to obtain alternative coverage through the California FAIR Plan.

SB 505, also by Sen. Rubio, would provide opportunities for agricultural producers to move back to the competitive market, with affordable commercial policies protecting farming and ranching operations.

“California’s farmers and ranchers need insurance options to safeguard their ability to continue producing the food that America needs,” said California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson. “Senate Bill 505 provides agricultural producers who turned to the California FAIR plan the ability to return to the competitive insurance market to protect farming and ranching operations. SB 505 is widely supported by insurers, brokers and agents. We applaud Sen. Rubio for her leadership on this issue, and we encourage the state Assembly to pass this important legislation so that it may be signed into law to provide affordable coverage options for California’s vital food producers.”

“California businesses do best when they have more choices for insurance coverage,” said Commissioner Lara. “While the California FAIR Plan is an important safety net when businesses cannot find any other insurance, giving them more options must be our top priority. I am proud to sponsor Senator Rubio’s important pro-consumer legislation creating a clearinghouse program for businesses to more quickly exit the FAIR Plan and get back into the competitive insurance market, something we already have for homeowners.”

The California Farm Bureau works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 29,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of 5.3 million Farm Bureau members.