Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. based in Novato, Calif., has declared a temporary moratorium on canceling or non-renewing personal and commercial insurance policies in areas severely affected by Hurricane Katrina.
“We empathize with policyholders who now must deal with the many details of devastation and recovery,” said Paul Stachura, senior vice president and chief claims officer of Fireman’s Fund. “Clearly, these customers should not also be penalized if they cannot receive or attend to bills for their insurance coverage. That task can be delayed until the bigger issues in their lives are in order.” Stachura added that the moratorium is a voluntary action by Fireman’s Fund to reassure its policyholders in advance of any possible state regulatory actions in this area.
Since the hurricane has displaced so many homeowner and commercial policyholders and disrupted communications media, Fireman’s Fund has also launched a public outreach to its customers that have been displaced to other cities and cannot return to their homes. The action is aimed at opening claims communication early to speed resolution and get payments into customers’ hands for temporary lodging bills. To date, the company has received more than 350 claims arising from Katrina and has staged claims professionals throughout the Gulf Coast area.
“We encourage agents and policyholders to call us at 1-888-FIREHAT (or 1-888-347-3428) with any special needs no matter where they are or how long it will be before they can get back to their homes,” said Stachura.
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