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CA Department of Insurance

After The Fires

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Tips To Avoid Being Victimized

  • Many insurance policies provide for living expenses in cases of emergency. Your insurance company and agent can help make sure the money arrives promptly. ″
  • Don't sign any contracts for repairs or other needs until you have spoken directly to your insurance company representative or agent.″
  • Demand to see identification from anyone contacting you regarding your claim.″
  • There are two types of insurance adjusters:
    1. Private insurance adjusters, representing insurance companies such as Farmers, State Farm, or AAA.
    2. Public adjusters, who represent insurance claimants.
  • Insurance company adjusters are employed by insurance companies. They do not charge a fee.″
  • Public adjusters work for and represent insurance claimants. They do charge a fee. Generally, the fee is a percentage of your entire insurance settlement amount.″
  • Public adjusters cannot solicit your business:
  1. While the loss is underway
  2. Between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.
  3. For seven calendar days after the disaster″
  • Ask to see the California adjuster's license and note the license number and full name. Do not rely upon a business card.″
  • If you are unsure, call the Department of Insurance Help Line AT 1-800-927-HELP.″
  • A public adjuster contract can be canceled by you within 72 hours of signing.″
  • It is illegal for a public adjuster to advance money as an inducement to sign a contract. ″
  • Public adjusters may not offer referral fees in excess of $100. ″
  • Public adjusters may not have an interest in any contractor, demolition company, or any entity making repairs to your property.″
  • Public adjusters may not use a badge as identification.″
  • Beware of anyone attempting to rush you into signing a contract.″
  • Beware of any contractor attempting to have you sign a contract or begin demolition and clean-up.″
  • Beware of any attorney urging you to sign any documents.
If you have any questions or need assistance, the California Department of Insurance is here to help.

Additional Contact Information

Federal Emergency Management Agency: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or www.fema.gov

Contractors State License:1-800-321-CSLB (2752) or www.cslb.ca.gov

National Insurance Crime Bureau: 1-888-815-9064 or www.nicb.org

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