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CA Department of Insurance

Residents evacuated by wildfires may have insurance coverage for living expenses like food and shelter

News: 2015 Press Release

For Release: September 15, 2015
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Residents evacuated by wildfires may have insurance coverage for living expenses like food and shelter

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Thousands of Californians ordered to evacuate due to fires may have insurance coverage under homeowner and renter policies. This coverage may reimburse consumers for living expenses including housing and food, even if their home is not damaged or destroyed by fire.

"Even a temporary displacement due to disaster can create financial and emotional hardships," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Homeowners and renters should know their insurance policy may cover additional living expenses associated with mandatory evacuation and contact their insurer for assistance."

Residents should review their policies to see if they have coverage for additional living expenses. Insurance agents can help consumers understand coverage limits and how to get reimbursed as policy provisions, including deductibles, vary by company. Coverage typically includes food and housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage, and extra transportation expenses.

Fire victims can also call the California Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP (4357) for questions about their insurance and coverage.

Media Notes:

  • The Department of Insurance consumer services team regularly participates in Cal OES established local assistance centers for consumers needing assistance recovering from wildfires.
  • 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 website at insurance.ca.gov, or receive a hardcopy by calling the California Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP (4357).
  • Don't get burned after a disaster. Tips and tools to help prevent you from getting burned by a scam artist.


 


The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $288 billion in premiums annually in California. In 2015 the California Department of Insurance received more than 155,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $84 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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