Consumers urged to review insurance policy before storm hits
News: 2014 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Consumers in the Northern California region are about to get blasted by a severe winter storm. With dire predictions of the worst storm to hit the region in several years, the Department of Insurance is urging consumers to prepare before disaster strike-making recovery easier. Update your home inventory, have your insurance and important papers at hand, and have an evacuation kit ready.
"Today as Northern Californians prepare for extreme wet weather conditions, it's important that they remember to make sure their financial affairs are in order," said Commissioner Jones. "Taking the time to update your home inventory, and understanding your insurance policy are just as important in preparing for this storm as having an emergency go kit and securing outdoor items."
Having an updated home inventory is vital to help replace lost or damaged items. In the age of smart devices, it has never been easier to take photos and videos of clothing, jewelry and belongings and store them in your digital Cloud to access should the need arise. Additionally, consumers should scan copies of important documents such as mortgage papers, deeds and insurance policies and store them in an offsite location such as the Cloud, an email system, or on a portable drive.
It is imperative that homeowners and renters understand their policy and what is covered. Generally a traditional homeowner's policy does not cover flood damage, but roof damage caused by wind or damage caused by falling trees may be covered. This is also true for auto policies. Winter storms and wet roads bring some of the most treacherous conditions, so it is crucial that drivers make sure they are covered and that they understand that coverage. Reading the list of exclusions is an important part of understanding your coverage.
Consumers needing assistance with an insurance claim or understanding their policy can get help from the department's Consumer Services branch by calling toll-free 800-927-4357.
Fact sheet on rain and windstorm is available to the public.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 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.