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Bill Would Require Insurers To Pay For Mudslides

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Photo

A firefighter stands on the roof of a house submerged in mud and rocks Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Montecito, Calif.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Photo

(AP) - A state senator from Santa Barbara is introducing legislation that seeks to ensure that insurance companies cover damage from devastating mudslides.

Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson said Tuesday that questions remain about whether fire insurance policies will cover the damage, which was caused by torrential rains in an area that had just burned. Some worry that insurers will refuse to pay claims for customers who don't have optional flood insurance.

SB917 would require insurers to pay for damages caused by landslides triggered by wildfires or other covered disasters.

Jackson says some insurers are being noncommittal about whether they'll pay claims. It's unclear how many customers are affected.

Jackson says the powerful mudslides destroyed almost 10 percent of the homes in Montecito. Twenty-one people were killed.

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