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News: 2013 Press Release

For Release: July 18, 2013
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Mountain Fire evacuees should check homeowners’ insurance for reimbursement of certain living expenses associated with mandatory evacuation

RIVERSIDE - The California Department of Insurance (CDI) is currently tracking evacuations due to wildfires in the state, including the Mountain Fire near Riverside. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is reminding wildfire evacuees that they may be eligible for reimbursement for additional living expenses due to the mandatory evacuation order.

"Many evacuees may be unaware that their homeowners' insurance policies may cover the additional living expenses incurred by a mandatory evacuation," said Commissioner Jones. "I urge evacuees to contact their insurer to see if they qualify for this important benefit to help limit the financial stress associated with evacuations."

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. This coverage typically includes extra food and housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage, telephone installation and extra transportation expenses. Policy provisions, including deductibles, vary by company. Check with your insurer regarding any limitations that may apply to your coverage.

Commissioner Jones reminds all Californians to prepare for wildfires today. Visit ReadyForWildfire.org to learn about quick and easy tips which may help protect your home and assist firefighting efforts.

  1. Don't leave sprinklers running; you may compromise precious water pressure needed by the firefighters. Use this time to duct tape soffit vents to prevent embers from entering your attic.
  2. Remove sheer draped inside of windows; they may combust just from indirect radiant heat.
  3. Leave interior and exterior lights on to help firefighters see your home through thick smoke.

Additional tips and information for consumers for before, during, and after a wildfire are available from CDI. Download a free home inventory guide from the department Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov, or receive a hard copy by calling the CDI Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP (800-927-4357).

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 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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