Most Insurers to Increase Payments to California Wildfire Victims Without Itemization

December 28, 2018

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said this week that most insurers were following a notice he issued requesting that residential property insurers provide at least 75 percent and up to 100 percent of contents coverage limits for wildfire victims who experienced a total loss without the requirement of providing a detailed home inventory.

Jones issued the notice on Dec. 3 to all residential property insurers who reported total losses from the November 2018 Camp and Woolsey fires.

He issued several orders following the fires he said were designed to help expedite claims payments and protect consumers as out-of-state claims adjusters arrive to help process the huge volume of claims to settle.

“Many insurers have stepped up to do the right thing for policyholders by agreeing to my requests and eliminating more red tape from the claim process,” Jones said in a statement. “Requiring fire survivors who lost everything to fill out a burdensome detailed inventory of every possession that they have collected for decades is simply asking too much, which is why I asked insurers to waive this requirement and pay at least 75 percent of the coverage for contents without requiring the inventory.”

In mid-December Jones said the official tally for insured losses from this year’s major California wildfires had reached $9.05 billion.

The insurers that agreed to Jones’ request represent 90 percent of the total-loss insurance claims for policyholders who experienced a residential property insurance loss in the November 2018 wildfires.

The California Department of Insurance has requested each insurer immediately notify their insureds of the new amounts they will provide, without inventory, and the terms and exceptions. Several insurers have already done this or are in the process of making these notifications, according to the CDI.

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