American Property Casualty Insurance Association
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Brooke Kelley-Hunt


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August 19, 2014

ACIC Urges California Residents to Evacuate and Call Insurers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. –The Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) is offering wildfire evacuation tips to those impacted by several wildfires burning across the state. As of this morning more than 1,500 people were asked to evacuate near the small community of Oakhurst, which is just miles away from Yosemite National Park. So far eight structures have been damaged from the fire, and currently more than 500 homes are still threatened. Another fire in Kern County has burned more than 3,000 acres and continues to threaten structures. Unfortunately, these dry conditions are predicted to continue according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). NIFC predicts above normal fire potential to continue over most of California, Nevada, Washington and Idaho.

“The first step is to listen to authorities and pack up your essentials and move out as quickly as you can, the next step is to inform your insurer you’ve been asked to evacuate your home,” said Mark Sektnan, ACIC president.

“It’s important to note that most 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.”

ACIC Wildfire Evacuation Tips:

1.) 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. 

2.) Remember to bring eye glasses, medicines or other important items and prepare for your pet’s needs, bring leashes, food etc. 

3.) 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. 

4.) Policyholders who have lost their homes to the fires are immediately eligible for Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage which may reimburse you 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.

For latest updates on the current wildfires in California visit Cal Fire Incident Website.

ACIC Resources:

Insurers Toll free Contact Numbers:

Step-by-Step Home Insurance Claim Recovery Guide

The Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) is part of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). ACIC is PCI’s California Voice representing 363 property casualty insurance companies doing business in California. These members write $20.2 billion in premium in California insuring 36 percent of the property casualty insurance sold in the state. California members write 44 percent of personal auto insurance, 29 percent of homeowners insurance, 33 percent of commercial lines business insurance and 40 percent of private workers compensation insurance sold in California.