California Hosts Industry Summit Addressing Wildfire Survivor Needs

December 19, 2007

California Insurance Poizner hosted a roundtable meeting Tuesday with CEOs and executives of leading insurance companies to improve the recovery process for wildfire victims and announce minimum standards to reform the claims handling process.

Less than two months after Southern California wildfires, insurers voluntarily agreed to adopt reforms that they say wildfire survivors will benefit from in that claims handling will be more responsive. Compliance with these proposed minimum standards will provide uniformity in claims-handling for wildfire victims, the Comissioner stated.

At the meeting were representatives from American International Group Inc., Allied Insurance/Nationwide, Allstate Insurance Co., Automobile Club of Southern California, Balboa Insurance Group, Chubb Group, Farmers Insurance Group, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., Liberty Mutual Group, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, Safeco, State Farm Insurance Co., and Travelers.

Included in the Commissioner’s recommended claims-handling practices are:
-Expediting the processing of additional living expense payments, automobile and debris removal claims in the event of a total loss;
-Billing leniency for fire victims in disaster areas; and
-Inventory process simplification.

“Thousands of families were hit hard by the recent wildfires in Southern California,” Poizner said. “In times of disaster it is critical that everyone comes together to help victims recovery quickly. So far, many insurance companies have done a great job serving fire survivors, and I’m going to make sure that continues. My department will continue to monitor the practices of all these insurance companies until every last claim is paid.”

“We know how important it is to get our customers and their vehicles back on the road quickly – that’s what our 24/7, in-person claims service is all about. Our goal is to provide customers with the fast, caring service and ongoing communication that they value, and we are pleased to be working with Commissioner Poizner and other industry leaders to find even better ways to deliver on this promise,” said Mike Randall, California claims general manager for Progressive Auto Insurance.

Source: CDI

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