Resources to Help Recent Wildfire Victims
California is prone to wildfires. It is unknown where or when they will strike, but unfortunately they will occur. Nothing illustrates this better than the recent fires in Butte and Calaveras counties.
In an effort to assist victims of these devastating fires, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced that the California Department of Insurance (CDI) has established voluntary claims handling reforms and obtained agreements from several insurance companies handling Valley and butte wildfire damage claims to help victims begin their recovery more quickly.
If you have been a victim of the recent wildfires you may find the following guides helpful:
Related Press Releases
Disaster Prevention and Preparedness
The recent fires also remind those of us not directly impacted to make sure we are prepared for such disasters. One way to be ready is to make sure you are properly insured.
Need Assistance Finding Property Insurance?
Whether you are interested in purchasing, reviewing or replacing homeowners, renters, condominium or mobile home insurance, it is important to shop and compare insurance products just like you would when shopping for any other important consumer purchase. Since residential insurance often protects your largest financial investment, plan on spending some time to conduct a search of the insurance marketplace.
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) provides several tools to help you understand home/residential insurance so that you can make the best decision for your situation. Here you will find several informational guides, tips and tools to assist consumers in understanding homeowners' insurance and how to shop for the best product and at the best price to meet their needs. The following Home/Residential Insurance web page takes you to where all this information is contained.
If you do not find the information you need, you can call the Department's Consumer Hotline at (800) 927-4357 for assistance. Dedicated insurance experts are available to assist you with any questions on all aspects of insurance.
What If I Can't Find Insurance?
If after shopping the market you are still having difficulty obtaining residential insurance, you may want to contact the California FAIR Plan to explore your coverage options. As the insurer of last resort, the California FAIR Plan should only be considered after a diligent search for coverage in the traditional insurance market. If you are turned down or non-renewed by your current insurance company, or are otherwise in need of coverage, you may apply for coverage under the FAIR Plan through an agent or broker licensed to sell property insurance, or you may contact the FAIR Plan directly at 800-339-4099.
Please note that the FAIR Plan only provides coverage for the perils of Fire or Lightning, Internal Explosion, and Smoke. For an additional premium, Extended Coverage (windstorm, hail, explosion, riot or civil commotion, aircraft, vehicles, and volcanic eruption) and Vandalism or Malicious Mischief may be added to the policy. Since the FAIR Plan policy does not cover all the perils insured under a traditional homeowners' insurance policy such as theft or liability, you may want to consider purchasing a "Differences in Conditions" policy in addition to the FAIR Plan policy that will cover these additional risks. An agent or broker should be able to locate an insurance company that sells this type of coverage.>