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News: 2013 Press Release

For Release: August 26, 2013
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Jones reminds Rim Fire evacuees that certain living expenses may be reimbursed from homeowners' insurance coverage

TUOLUMNE, Calif. - The California Department of Insurance is currently tracking evacuations due to wildfires in the state, including the Rim Fire in Yosemite. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is reminding wildfire evacuees that they may be eligible for reimbursement for additional living expenses due to mandatory evacuations.

"The extreme topography of the area makes the Rim Fire a dangerous wildfire to contain," said Commissioner Jones. "I applaud the effort of the fire teams building fire breaks to protect property so that homeowners can evacuate. Many evacuees may be unaware that their homeowners' insurance policies may cover the additional living expenses incurred by a mandatory evacuation. I urge evacuees to contact their insurer to see if they qualify for this important benefit."

Many homeowner insurance policies cover additional living expenses during natural disasters. This permits homeowners to maintain their standard of living by covering increased living expenses incurred as a result of damage caused by the fire or mandatory evacuation. This coverage typically includes extra food and housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage, telephone installation and extra transportation expenses. Policy provisions, including deductibles, vary by company. Check with your insurer regarding any limitations that may apply to your coverage.

Commissioner Jones reminds all Californians to prepare for wildfires today. Learn quick and easy tips to prepare a home inventory and make recovery easier.

  1. Have your insurance policies and important papers with you, and copies stored in a separate location, away from your home.
  2. Take photos and videos of you possessions. This can be quickly and easily be done on your smart phone and then stored off-site on a network or in the Cloud.

Additional tips and information for consumers for before, during, and after a wildfire are available from CDI. Download a free home inventory guide from the department Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov, or receive a hard copy by calling the California Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP (800-927-4357).

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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 2012 the California Department of Insurance received more than 160,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $64 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. Out-of-state callers, 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.

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