Assembly unanimously passes insurance accelerator legislation for clean-fuel truck fleets 

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara | File photo/www.insurance.ca.gov

Sponsored by Commissioner Lara, AB 844 would support California’s transition from diesel to help meet state’s clean air goals

SACRAMENTO — Just days after California’s landmark action to phase out diesel truck fleets, the California State Assembly unanimously voted for Assembly Bill 844 that will help accelerate the transition to clean-air technology by making sure clean fleets have access to available and affordable commercial insurance. Authored by Assemblymember Mike Gipson and sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, this Clean Fleet Insurance Accelerator legislation will help keep California in the forefront of the fight against diesel pollution.

“Transportation of goods and cargo are critical to our daily lives, and so is breathing clean air where we live. Access to sustainable, affordable insurance for clean truck fleets is critical to fighting climate change and fixing the damage caused by decades of environmental racism,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “Our Clean Fleet Insurance Accelerator legislation is a forward-looking approach to identify solutions proactively, before we face insurance roadblocks.”

“I am thrilled that my bill AB 844 has passed the Assembly floor with unanimous bipartisan support,” said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson. “This bill aims to support the rapid adoption of cleaner trucking technologies by directing the California Department of Insurance to gather data on the emerging marketplace and identify potential barriers to expanding insurance options. Air pollutants disproportionately affect lower income individuals and people of color, so this initiative is not only about the environment, it’s about equity. The information gathered will be used to inform policy alternatives and provide both the insurance regulator and air quality regulator with critical and timely information to support the deployment of cleaner trucking technologies.”

AB 844 creates a source of credible data for insurance companies to use in properly pricing and selling insurance for clean truck fleets, supporting the deployment of cleaner technologies and the achievement of California’s climate goals. With hundreds of thousands of new zero-emission trucks expected in the next few years, AB 844 will help secure a strong insurance market that supports a transition to fewer emissions and cleaner air.

Starting in 2024 when California’s Clean Truck Regulation requires manufacturers to sell more electric and zero-emission trucks, the California Department of Insurance would start requiring insurance companies to report key data, including:

  • How many zero-emission trucks are covered?
  • What insurance losses do they report for these vehicles?
  • What are the coverage levels offered?

Using this data, the Department will create a one-stop shop for truck fleet operators to easily find insurance options, while working together with other state agencies, including the California Air Resources Board, on a strategy to close any coverage gaps that exist.

The latest action by the California Air Resources Board to increase the sale of zero emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles builds on decades of work to end diesel pollution, especially among trade corridors largely located in communities of color. When he was a member of the California State Legislature, Commissioner Lara authored the Super Pollutant Reduction Act (SB 1383, 2016) setting a target of cutting emissions of black carbon in half by 2030 – much of it from diesel-powered vehicles. He also authored chaptered legislation establishing the Clean Truck and Bus Incentive Program (SB 1204, 2014), which has contributed to billions of dollars in state investments in zero-emission technology. More than one-quarter of black carbon in the air comes from vehicles, mostly diesel trucks, according to data from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

This measure is part of Commissioner Lara’s comprehensive approach to fighting climate change, laid out in a sustainable insurance roadmap with the United Nations that includes expanding insurance coverage for clean technologies.

(CA Dep’t of insurance Release)

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