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CA Department of Insurance

Insurance Commissioner Jones Reminds Wildfire Evacuees that Insurance May Cover Living Expenses

News: 2011 Press Release

For Release: September 6, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Insurance Commissioner Jones Reminds Wildfire Evacuees that Insurance May Cover Living Expenses
Department of Insurance Monitoring Several Fires in the State

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today reminded fire evacuees in California that they may be eligible for reimbursement for additional living expenses due to mandatory evacuations. The California Department of Insurance is currently monitoring several fires in the state, including the Canyon Fire in Kern County, which has the most potential for damage.

"Anyone who has been forced to evacuate their home due to the fires in Kern County and elsewhere should check their insurance policies," said Commissioner Jones. "Many cover additional living expenses people might incur because they've been told to evacuate. Those expenses include hotel stays and meals."

Homeowners are covered under what is known as ALE, or additional living expenses. This permits them to maintain their normal standard of living by covering the increased living expenses incurred as a result of damage caused by the fire or a mandatory evacuation. ALE coverage typically includes extra food and housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage costs, telephone installation and extra transportation expenses to and from school or work.

"Evacuating your home for a wildfire is terrifying, said Commissioner Jones. "But knowing you're adequately covered for those unexpected expenses after such a disaster may lessen the anxiety just a little."

Commissioner Jones reminds all Californians that the department is here to help. He also urges residents to get prepared for wildfires today by making sure their insurance policies are up to date and to conduct a home inventory today. A free guide is available on the Department of Insurance Web site at, or by calling the CDI Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP.  

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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