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CA Department of Insurance

Helena fire evacuees possibly eligible for evacuation cost reimbursement

News: 2017 Press Release

For Release: September 5, 2017
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
Helena fire evacuees possibly eligible for evacuation cost reimbursement
Department of Insurance helping consumers at Local Assistance Center
TRINITY, Calif. — Thousands of Trinity County residents under mandatory evacuation due to the Helena Fire may have additional living expense coverage to reimburse them for evacuation and recovery expenses. It is important to note policyholders do not need to experience any smoke or fire damage or destruction to collect these benefits.

Many consumers are unaware their renter or homeowner policy may reimburse them for costs related to a mandatory evacuation, such as hotel, food, furniture rental, relocation and storage—often with no deductible requirement. Policy provisions, including deductibles, vary by company. Consumers should check with their insurer regarding any limitations that may apply to the coverage.

"Disaster evacuations can create financial and emotional hardships," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "I urge wildfire victims to contact their insurer to see if their policy covers additional living expenses associated with mandatory evacuation and recovery."

Staff from the Department of Insurance Consumer Services Division are working with evacuees and fire victims at the local assistance center answering questions on coverage, offering tips as consumers begin to think about returning to their property, and providing information about potential scams often seen during and after a disaster.

"Department staff will remain at the local assistance center and be available by phone to assist victims of the Helena fire," added Jones.

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Media Notes:

Policy provisions, including deductibles, vary by company. Consumers should check with their insurer regarding any limitations that may apply to the coverage.

  • Local Assistance Center: Mountain Chapel, 60 Oak Ridge Road, Weaverville, CA 96093
  • Open today at 12 p.m., Wednesday through Friday open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • 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 http://www.insurance.ca.gov, or receive a hardcopy by calling the California Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP (4357).  


The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 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 $394 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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