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News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: May 9, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Reminds Homeowners to Be Prepared for Wildfires
May 6-12 Declared Wildfire Awareness Week in California

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today reminded all homeowners, especially those who live in wildfire prone areas of the state, to be prepared for the potential threat of a wildfire.

"Californian's need to be both aware and prepared for the threat that a devastating wildfire might strike," said Commissioner Jones. "Basic steps such as creating defensible space around your property, clearing dry brush, and being prepared can save your home or reduce the impact of a wildfire on your home should one strike."

Commissioner Jones reminds all homeowners to be prepared in the event of a wildfire by conducting a home inventory and offers the following tips:

  • Using a household digital camera and a Home Inventory Guide from the California Department of Insurance, catalogue your possessions and document their values. Photographs and video 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 to the public.
  • Homeowners are encouraged to review their homeowners' insurance policy with their agent to determine if they have sufficient coverage limits for the dwelling, personal property, and any special characteristics, such as antiques, expensive jewelry, and other valuable collections.
  • Contact CDI at 800-927-HELP to obtain consumer information guides about additional insurance products, or for any insurance-related questions.

Governor Brown has declared May 6-12 as wildfire awareness week and issued a proclamation.

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. 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 or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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