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July 18, 2014
PCI Urges Residents in Washington to Evacuate
and Call Insurers
SEATTLE – The Property Casualty Insurers Association of
America (PCI) is urging residents near the Carlton Complex and Chiwaukum Creek
fires to listen to emergency officials and evacuate if given the order.
Officials report that as many as 100 homes have been destroyed to date, the
entire town of Pateros has been evacuated and more than 900 residents near
Leavenworth have been ordered to evacuate as these two large fires continue to
“The first step is to listen to authorities and pack up and
move out as quickly as you can, and the next step is to inform your insurer
you’ve been asked to evacuate your home,” said Kenton Brine, assistant vice
president for PCI. “Generally, homeowners and auto insurance policies will
cover property lost or damaged due to a wildfire, but it’s important to make
that initial contact with your insurer to begin the recovery process if your
home is damaged or destroyed by a wildfire.”
Key Insurance Elements for Evacuees to Remember:
• Follow your family evacuation plan and have all family
members meet at one previously agreed upon location or call one relative or
friend out of the area to communicate and plan next steps.
• Remember to bring eyeglasses, medicines or other important
items and prepare for your pet’s needs, bring leashes, food etc.
• If possible, prior to evacuating, policyholders should
bring their important paperwork with them including a copy of their insurance
policy. Policyholders should contact their insurance company immediately once
they are evacuated.
• Policyholders who have lost their homes to the fires are
immediately eligible for Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage which may reimburse
for increased living expenses such as, lodging, clothing, toiletries and other
necessities. Policyholders who are evacuated for a period of time by state or
local officials, and do NOT lose their home, may also be eligible for ALE
reimbursement if the home next door is damaged by fire, and civil authorities
prevent you from returning to your home. Remember to keep your receipts so it
will make the claims process easier.
Tips for Filing a Fire-Related Claim:
• Report all damage to your insurance company or agent as
soon as you can in order to settle your claim more quickly and accurately.
• Make a list of all of the damage and any resulting
expenses. Keep receipts for anything you buy so you can submit them to your
insurance company later.
• Many standard homeowners and renter’s policies provide for
reimbursement of additional living expenses when the property is determined to
be uninhabitable due to damage. This provision helps in paying for increases to
necessary living expenses such as temporary housing and restaurant meals. In
addition, extra expenses such as overnight parking and laundry services may
also be covered. Additional living expense coverage does not pay for all living
expenses, so contact your insurance company or agent for a list of what your
policy will cover.
• A homeowner should not throw things away until an
insurance company representative has had a chance to assess the damage and make
a claim report.
Insurers Toll free Contact Numbers
PCI Insurance Checklist and Tips: During and After the Fire
Insurance Tips for How to Physically Prepare for Wildfire
Insurance Tips for Financially Preparing for Wildfires
PCI is composed of more
than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of
insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $195 billion
in annual premium, 39 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member
companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent
of the homeowners market, 37 percent of the commercial property and liability
market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.