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News: 2014 Press Release

For Release: April 30, 2014
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Etiwanda wildfire evacuees may have certain living expenses reimbursed

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.- The California Department of Insurance is monitoring evacuations due to the wind-swept Etiwanda wildfire. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is reminding wildfire evacuees that they maybe eligible for reimbursement for additional living expenses due to mandatory evacuations.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents impacted by the Etiwanda wildfire evacuation," said Commissioner Jones. "Homeowners should know that their insurance policy may cover additional living expenses from the mandatory evacuation and contact their insurer for assistance."

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 food and housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage, 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 Joneson reminds all Californians to prepare for wildfires today. Learn quick and easy tips to complete a home inventory and learn about the benefits of home hardening. Failure to plan ahead may increase the difficulty in filing a claim and delay the recovery process.

Don't forget copies of insurance policies, important papers and a photo or video inventory of your possessions. An inventory can be completed quickly and easily on your smart phone and safely stored in the cloud.

Quick and easy tips for home hardening that may help protect your home and assist fire fighting efforts.

  1. Don't leave sprinklers running; you may compromise precious water pressure needed by the firefighters. Use this time to duct tape soffit vents to prevent embers from entering your attic.
  2. Remove sheer draped inside of windows; they may combust just from indirect radiant heat.
  3. Leave interior and exterior lights on to help firefighters see your home through thick smoke.

Additional tips and information for consumers for before, during, and after a wildfire are available from the California Department of Insurance. 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 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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