Insurance commissioner calls on industry to ease inventory requirement for 2018 wildfire survivors
News: 2018 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Due to the staggering losses suffered by thousands of residents from the 2018 wildfires, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is asking insurers to assist overwhelmed wildfire survivors by voluntarily easing detailed personal property home inventory requirements and following the lead of other insurers providing at least 75 percent and up to 100 percent of contents (personal property) coverage limits without the submission of a detailed inventory.
The notice issued today, acknowledges that the department is aware of and applauds the efforts of certain insurers that have already gone above and beyond the Voluntary Expedited Claims Handling Procedures and have made significant efforts to assist and accommodate survivors by offering, in some cases, up to 100 percent contents limits payment without a personal property inventory.
However, due to the massive scale of these wildfires Jones is requesting all other property insurers follow suit by providing similar accommodations and is asking insurers to notify the department by October 31, 2018 whether they will comply and what percentage they will provide. Those insurers offering an amount less than 100 percent should allow policyholders the ability to recover additional benefits, if the policyholder subsequently completes a full inventory.
“The Carr and Mendocino Complex fires rank among the most destructive wildfires in California’s history,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Entire communities were decimated with residents suffering staggering losses of not only property, but tragically loss of life and injuries. I’m asking property insurers to ease the burden on traumatized survivors by voluntarily providing at least 75 percent of contents coverage without the onerous requirement of a detailed home inventory, so survivors may get on with patching their lives back together.”
The commissioner’s request applies to all insured homes that suffered a total loss, unless the insurer has reason to believe the home was not furnished. The department advises policyholders already working with a claims adjuster to develop a settlement plan that best serves their needs, which may include taking the time to complete a personal property home inventory.
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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. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.