Kern Country wildfire officially 100 percent contained
News: 2016 Press Release
KERN, Calif. — Officials have announced that the Erskine Fire, the most destructive wildfire so far this year, is 100 percent contained. The blaze destroyed approximately 48,000 acres and 290 homes in Kern County, resulting in anticipated insured losses of $36 million.
Over the course of a nine-day period, the California Department of Insurance provided assistance and guidance to over 70 wildfire victims at the Local Assistance Center. As with previous disasters, department staff members were on-site providing information about claim processes and guiding consumers to appropriate disaster recovery resources.
Commissioner Jones reminds consumers to be on guard against unscrupulous vendors and contractors that may attempt to take advantage of fire victims with scams. Do not sign contracts or give a public adjuster or contractor money without first confirming they are properly licensed and their license is in good standing.
"Unfortunately, disasters can bring out the worst in some people," said Jones. "I have a skilled enforcement team focused on tracking down and arresting rip-off artists that take advantage of homeowners who have already suffered so much."
The department's enforcement team works closely with other regulatory agencies, including the Contractors State License Board, the Employment Development Department and the DMV to make sure public adjusters, contractors, and service vendors are following the laws and regulations in place to protect consumers.
Jones also urges wildfire victims to review their insurance policies for additional living expense coverage, such as food and housing costs, furniture rental, relocation, storage, and extra transportation expenses.
Consumers who need assistance with their claim or have questions may
contact the Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at
800-927-4357 or visit the department's website for tips and advice. Residents in the affected areas are also urged to report any suspicious activity to the department's Consumer Hotline.
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- 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 $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 www.insurance.ca.gov. 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.