| PCI urges policyholders to contact their insurer |
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With major fires burning in Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties causing major evacuations and reports of structure losses, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) today urges homeowners and renters to evacuate if instructed to do so and then contact their insurance company immediately.
“Insurers are moving into place and are ready to help residents start the claims process,” said Armand Feliciano, PCI’s vice president of state government relations. “Residents evacuated should know that homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for additional living expenses should a covered loss make your home uninhabitable.”
Acting Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a State of Emergency for Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. CAL FIRE reports significant structure loss in the Camp Fire and many homes are threatened by the Hill and Woolsey Fires.
“The first step is to call your insurer and get the claims process started as soon as possible, said Feliciano. “Call, click or text your insurer and they will get you the resources necessary to buy clothes, get another place to live and take care of your immediate needs.”
Quick Tips for the Insurance Claims Process: http://www.pciaa.net/docs/default-source/industry-issues/gettingbackhome-(004).pdf
Californians not impacted by the current fires should take the time to prepare their finances. Additional tips and information visit our website www.pciaa.net
Take a Wildfire Reality Check
Tip 1: Conduct an Annual Insurance Check Up
Call your agent or insurance company to discuss your policy limits and coverage annually. Make sure your policy reflects the right square footage and materials of your home. Consider purchasing building code upgrade coverage.
Tip 2: Know What Your Policy Covers
The details matter. Understand if you have a replacement cost policy that pays to replace all your items at current market price or an actual cash value policy that takes depreciation into account and pays less for aged items.
Tip 3: Update Your Policy to Cover Home Improvements
If you make home improvements, be sure to call your agent or company to update your coverage. Make sure your insurer knows about the changes so the new tile or room is covered if you must rebuild.
Tip 4: Maintain Insurance
If your home is paid off, be sure to maintain homeowners insurance. Do not be caught after a fire with no way to rebuild your home. Check with loved ones with paid off homes to be sure they continue to carry homeowners insurance.
Tip 5: Get Renters Insurance
Renters can lose everything in a fire just like homeowners. Many auto insurers bundle renters’ insurance coverage with an auto insurance policy for very affordable prices.
Make a Home Inventory
Tip 1: Video or photograph each room of your home. Remember to document drawers and closets.
Tip 2: Describe your home’s contents, what you paid, where and when you bought items in your video.
Tip 3: Remember to note and video your electronics, appliances, sports equipment, TVs, computers, tablets.
Tip 4: Store key documents like a home inventory in the cloud or fireproof case.
Tip 5: Don’t forget to video or photograph what is inside your garage.