News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: September 10, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Warns Bay Area Homeowners To Prepare For Wildfires
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today joined the FireSafe Councils of Northwest California and Farmers Insurance Group of Companies to encourage Bay Area homeowners to prepare their assets for the possibility of a disaster. Commissioner Poizner advised all local homeowners to proactively prepare for fires and other potential disasters by conducting a home inventory and updating their insurance policies.
"The recent, devastating wildfires are a somber reminder of the destruction that all Californians are prone to," said Commissioner Poizner. "Waiting for a fire to erupt before conducting a home inventory and reviewing your insurance policy means you could get burned twice - first by the fire then by trying to recover your losses. These are concrete steps all Californians can take today to protect their homes and belongings."
Wildfires have already begun to rage throughout the state this year, and the worst may still be ahead. Commissioner Poizner urges all homeowners to prepare themselves, and conduct a home inventory to maintain detailed records of their belongings.
Commissioner Poizner offered the following tips for conducting a home inventory:
- Using a household digital camera and a Home Inventory Guide from the California Department of Insurance, catalogue your possessions and document their values. Photographs of household goods are especially helpful when an item is difficult to describe on paper, or if a purchase receipt cannot be obtained.
- Label photographs with information about each item.
- If a video recorder is used, commentary about each item should be included.
- A copy of the inventory and supporting documentation, such as receipts and model numbers, should be stored in a safe place, such as a safe-deposit box, work office, or a relative's house.
- These records should also include financial documents such as insurance policies and mortgage information.
- A free Home Inventory Guide is available at www.insurance.ca.gov.
- Contact CDI at 800-927-HELP to obtain consumer information guides about additional insurance products, or for any insurance-related questions.
Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
If you are a member of the public wishing information, please visit our Consumer Services.