California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner toured the Central Valley with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday, meeting with area leaders and assessing the needs of the agricultural community following the recent freeze.
To further assist farmers, Poizner took the following steps:
*Deployed trained personnel to the Department of Insurance’s Fresno field office to remain on the ground over the next several days and ensure residents receive the assistance they need;
*Released a Consumer Bulletin to provide farming families recommendations on “what they should do before filing a claim,” to help minimize losses. Residents are also encouraged to call the Department of Insurance’s toll-free consumer hotline, 800-927-HELP;
*Directed Department staff to remain in close contact with emergency officials and local leaders over the next 3 to 4 months, to ensure that claims are being handled in an efficient manner.
Preliminary data indicates that there may be more than $1 billion of damage to California agricultural products, including approximately $700 million in damages to citrus crops, as well as extensive damage to avocado and strawberry crops. Approximately 90 percent of crops in California are covered by crop insurance.
The briefing took place just three days after Commissioner Poizner issued a Declaration authorizing out-of-state insurance adjusters to be dispatched to the state of California to assist in the state of emergency, which already has taken effect, they said.
Poizner also issued a Consumer Alert with tips for the agricultural industry on what actions to take before filing a claim, which can be viewed at: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/consumer-alerts/index.cfm.
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