The California Department of Insurance announced that
since the wildfires broke out in Southern California in October 2007, 37,117 claims have been filed, and 1,531 of those claims are known to be total losses, with an estimated exposure for insurers of $2.26 billion. More than $1.26 billion has been paid out by insurers so far, the DOI indicated.
Recently, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner hosted a town-hall style Insurance Recovery Forum for in La Mesa, Calif., where representatives from the insurance industry and the DOI answered questions for fire victims.
“Thousands of homeowners were hit hard by the October wildfires in Southern California, and my heart goes out to all fire survivors for everything they have had to endure,” Poizner said. “The Harris fire ripped through the La Mesa community, destroying one hundred eighty-six homes. But I want all fire victims to know that they are not alone on the road to recovery. My Department is here to help until every last insurance claim is paid.”
In San Diego County, 27,011 claims have been filed, and 1,127 of those claims are known to be total losses, with an estimated exposure for insurers of more than $1.8 billion. More than $1 billion has been paid out by insurers to San Diego County residents. Commissioner Poizner has ordered his Department to continually monitor these numbers to make certain that insurers are meeting their obligations to pay all valid claims presented to them.
The Department’s Consumer Services Division has received 104 consumer complaints from fire survivors. Seventy-one of those complaints are from San Diego County. Five of the complaints from San Diego are related to underinsurance. The remaining complaints involve delays in getting adjusters assigned, or delays in getting additional living expenses (ALE) payments.
Commissioner Poizner said he will continue to monitor the wildfire recovery efforts and will continue to host town hall meetings in the communities impacted by the recent wildfires.
At Commissioner Poizner’s Insurance Recovery Forum, he was joined by representatives from: California Department of Insurance; Contractors State License Board; Small Business Administration; Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Office of Emergency Services (OES), and insurance companies with policyholders in the fire-impacted areas.
Since the October wildfires, Commissioner Poizner has hosted Insurance Recovery Forums for fire survivors in Malibu, Ramona, and in San Bernardino Counties.
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