This story is fluid. It is being written on Monday afternoon, October 14. At that time the Saddleridge Fire near Los Angeles is about 43% contained. By the time you read this things will have changed. Our hope is that it will have changed for the better.
However, with California’s annual — and very predictable high winds — the picture could have changed for the worst. But at press time, the fire is 43% contained and firefighters are optimistic things will improve in the next few days.
At this point 7,965 acres have burned but all that remains that could cause it to grow is some dry brush. No more homes or other structures are in danger. All evacuations have been lifted.
Officials say 17 structures were destroyed and 58 have been damaged.
California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara worried about how all of this is going to impact consumers. He says even if a home or other structures are not damaged they need to log the costs incurred if they are impacted by the fire. Homeowners — or renters — insurance will help with costs and those costs will not carry a deductible.
“Additional living expense coverage can help ease the financial and emotional toll an evacuation has on affected residents,” Lara said. “It is crucial that residents are aware of all the resources available to them. I encourage evacuees to contact their insurance agent or the Department of Insurance for assistance.”
He said ALE coverage typically includes food and housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage, and extra transportation expenses. These are his suggestions and — if you are a California agent — suggestions you may want to save for your clients:
• Keep all receipts accrued during the evacuation.
• Policy provisions, including deductibles, vary by company, residents should check with their insurer or agent as soon as possible to confirm coverage, limits, and any other limitations and documentation requirements. Most renters' policies also typically include ALE coverage.
• Consumer should make sure any insurance agent or public adjuster offering their services has a valid license by checking online with the Department of Insurance.
• Public adjusters cannot solicit business for seven calendar days after the disaster.
• 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.
Source link: California Department of Insurance