California Commissioner Wants Fire Claims Expedited, 9K Properties Lost

November 15, 2018

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones on Thursday issued a notice to insurers requesting they agree to expediting claims handling for Camp and Woolsey wildfire survivors to help them begin the recovery and rebuilding process more quickly.

The Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive fire in state history, has burned 140,000 acres and is 40 percent contained, according to CalFire. The Woolsey Fire has burned 98,362 acres and is 57 percent contained.

CalFire is reporting that 8,756 residences, and 260 commercial structures have been destroyed in the Camp Fire. There have been 56 fatalities reported as a result of the fire.

The Woolsey Fire has burned 98,362 acres and is 57 percent contained, destroying an estimated 504 structures, according to CalFire. That fire has resulted in two reported deaths.

A member of the Sacramento County Coroner’s office looks for human remains in the rubble of a house burned at the Camp Fire, Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The notice from Jones follows an action he took on Wednesday to declare an emergency situation, allowing insurers to use out-of-state adjusters to help handle the large volume of claims resulting from the fires.

Jones in his request on Thursday is asking insurers to agree to claims handling procedures to bring more timely payments to policyholders and provides greater flexibility with some deadlines and documentation typically required by insurers.

“Victims of these devastating wildfires need all the help we can provide,” Jones said in a statement. “I am asking California insurers to adopt these expedited claims handling procedures to get help to policyholders more quickly, so they may begin working on rebuilding their homes and their lives.”

According to the CDI, Jones’ notice asking insurers to adhere to expedited claims handling procedures would enable policyholders to receive advance payment for up to four months of additional living expenses, 25 percent of policy limits for personal property and an expedited process for debris removal-a first step in rebuilding.

These procedures speed payments for damaged or destroyed vehicles and provide at least 30 days billing leniency for lost renewal notices or those who do not have the ability to have mail forwarded, according to the CDI.

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