Auto Club Cuts Rates for Total Loss Victims Of Wildfires

November 24, 2003

The Auto Club’s affiliated Interinsurance Exchange has gained state insurance department interim approval for its emergency request to reduce insurance rates for its policyholders whose houses were destroyed by the recent Southern California fires. Also, the Exchange has postponed bills and provided a grace period for late payments to all policyholders that weren’t able to receive mail due to the fires.

“We expect many of our policyholders’ families will be displaced while they rebuild their homes, and we felt that they shouldn’t be paying the total premium on a house that isn’t there,” said Cortland Ray, vice president of insurance claims. “We want to get them back to normal as soon as possible. We provide Guaranteed Replacement Coverage for homes built after 1950. So if the home was burned down, we’ll pay to replace it.”

“Also, the last thing we want them to be worried about is paying the premium on time if they’ve had difficulty getting mail, so many policyholders in the affected areas have had an extended grace period for payment.”

The approved rate filing covers the following:

*Up to 35% premium reduction for insured homeowners that have a total loss while the home is being rebuilt. This premium reduction will be retroactive to the date of loss.

*Same coverage for personal property located at a temporary residence as if it were located at the insured homeowners’ residence.
$5,000 of theft coverage for building items owned by the insured while located on the residence premises.

*Extension of Liability coverage to the policyholder’s temporary living location while the rebuilding is being completed.

*The Exchange has received fire-related claims for more than 500 homes and 275 vehicles from Ventura to San Diego County. Most of the homes received partial damage. About 13 percent were totally destroyed.

“We didn’t wait for policyholders to contact the Exchange,” Ray added. “We’ve contacted every policyholder in the areas affected by the fires to determine if they need claims assistance.”

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