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News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: July 10, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Reminds Californians to Be Prepared for Extreme Heat, Wildfires
Urges California Consumers to be "Fire Ready" and "Insurance Smart"

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today reminded all California residents to be prepared for the high temperatures and potential threat of a wildfire as summer heats up.

"I urge Californians across the state to be prepared for the potential that a wildfire may strike anywhere and at any time," said Commissioner Jones. "Homeowners need to have their property ready and insurance up to date in case of a fire related loss."

Currently, weather experts are warning Californian's in the Southern part of the state about a "dangerous heat wave" expected to hit today and bring triple-digit temperatures to the southland and inland valley areas. Wildfires are also burning in the San Bernardino National Forest. In Northern California, triple-digit temperatures are also expected today and there are multiple fires burning at present.

Consumers are also reminded to have critical checklists and an escape plan ready in case of an evacuation in the event a wildfire breaks out near their homes or property. Sharing these checklists with family and neighbors is also recommended.

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 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.
  • 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.
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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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