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CA Department of Insurance

Living expense reimbursement may help victims of Wragg fire recover

News: 2015 Press Release

For Release: July 23, 2015
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Living expense reimbursement may help victims of Wragg fire recover

NAPA, Calif. - More than 500 Wragg fire victims who have been evacuated in the Lake Berryessa area may be eligible for reimbursement for additional living expenses through their homeowner insurance policies. The fast-moving wildfire has already grown to 6,000 acres, currently threatens 700 homes and has forced residents in Golden Bear Estates and the Quail Ridge subdivision to evacuate.

As the Department of Insurance continues to monitor evacuations, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is reminding evacuees that they may have insurance benefits to help them with additional expenses associated with evacuation and recovery including housing and food costs. 

"Even a temporary displacement due to disaster can create financial and emotional hardships," said Commissioner Jones. "Homeowners should know their insurance policy may cover additional living expenses associated with mandatory evacuation and recovery and should 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. The coverage typically includes food and housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage, and extra transportation expenses. Policy provisions, including deductibles, vary by company. Consumers should check with their insurer regarding any limitations that may apply to the coverage.

If residents need assistance with their insurance, contact the department's consumer services team toll-free at 800-927-HELP (4357). 

Media Notes:

  • The Department of Insurance consumer services team fields more than 175,000 calls annually from consumers needing assistance with claims and coverage denials. The team has succeeded in recovering tens of millions for consumers.
  • 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.
  • Find quick and easy tips to prepare your home to help keep your home from becoming fuel for a wildfire. 
  • Additional tips and information for consumers about what to do 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 receive a hard copy by calling the California Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP (4357).

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 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 website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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