Calif. Wildfire Claims Up To About 14,000

October 31, 2007

Roughly 14,000 insurance claims have been filed as a result of last week’s fire and wind storms, according to the Insurance Information Network of California.

Working in partnership with the Insurance Information Institute to review claims data, IINC and III now project that insurers may pay up to $1.6 billion for wind and fire damage to homes, farms, vehicles and businesses.

While much attention has understandably been focused on last week’s firestorms, thousands of homeowners also reported damage to their property from severe Santa Ana wind conditions, said IINC Executive Director Candysse Miller.

The insurance industry has mobilized disaster response teams to fire areas, and has set up claims teams at several local assistance centers. A list of insurance company claims hotlines is also available on the IINC Web site at

Policyholders who have sustained a loss or been forced from their homes due to a mandatory evacuation are being advised to contact agents or representatives immediately, and if that information is not available, to contact their insurance carrier, according to several California insurance industry associations. Policyholders should not be concerned about losing their insurance, Miller said.

“It’s important for consumers to know that their insurance policies will not be cancelled due to a firestorm claim,” she said. California law prohibits insurers from canceling a policy prior to reconstruction, and insurers must also offer to renew the policy immediately following a disaster. State law also requires additional living expense coverage be provided for 24 months following a declared state of emergency such as the recent firestorms, according to the Association of California Insurance Companies, Personal Insurance Federation of California and American Insurance Association.

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