JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. -- This week Oregon legislators will consider a new bill that expands insurance protections for Oregonians impacted by disasters.
House Bill 3272 was created in the wake of last September’s wildfires. It would require insurance coverage to give people two years to rebuild after a disaster instead of just one.
The minimums would be increased to three years after a state-declared emergency.
Southern Jackson County Representative Pam Marsh says they understand that when a whole area is impacted, getting the contractors, permits and finding the workers takes a lot of time.
Other proposals in the measure include requiring insurance companies to offer or provide updated estimates of replacement costs with every other policy renewal.
It also includes allowing homeowners to collect combined structure coverage limits to rebuild a home.
“If there's any time we look at these issues, it should be after we've had 4,000 homes destroyed in wildfires across the state. We know sadly, and very disturbingly, that these kinds of incidents are likely to continue in the future, so, we want to do everything we can certainly can to just keep our communities as safe as possible," Marsh said.
The Oregon House Committee on Business and Labor will hear the bill this Wednesday, March 10th.
Marsh is encouraging people who want to provide testimony or comment on the bill to participate in the hearing.
“It's really important for legislators to hear from people on the ground about what their experiences have been and what their frustrations and barriers have been so that we can make sure that we're addressing it in the legislation,” Marsh said.
If the bill passes, Marsh says they would like it to go into effect within the next year and a half – as people’s renewals come up.
You can submit written testimony here.