California Dept. of Insurance Reminds Wildfire Evacuees of Homeowners Insurance Benefits

California wildfiresHomeowners insurance offers a number of benefits, particularly to victims of wildfires, and the California Department of Insurance (CDI) is taking time to remind recent victims of just how they can take advantage of their coverage during this tough time.

In addition to paying for necessary repairs, or rebuilding their homes, victims of various California wildfires may benefit from an additional living expenses (ALE) reimbursement.

California Wildfires Damage Area Homes

Firefighters in Ventura and Riverside counties in California worked hard to contain wildfires that engulfed the areas over the last week, forcing many to evacuate their properties.

The Springs Fire in Ventura County swept across 28,000 acres and threatened more than 4,000 homes at its peak, while the Summit Fire in Riverside County burned through roughly 3,000 acres.

At last count, a total of 15 homes and five commercial properties in Ventura were damaged, while one home was destroyed in Riverside.

As the California wildfires worsened, residents in both areas were forced to evacuate their homes, which brought on the potential for financial hardship, something the CDI is hoping to alleviate.

Homeowners Insurance Reimburses Displaced Residents

When many homeowners insurance policyholders purchase coverage, they do so to ensure their homes can be repaired or rebuilt if damaged in an unforeseen event like a wildfire. But when an incident occurs, they often forget to take advantage of their ALE reimbursement.

The ALE reimbursement allows homeowners to pay for the cost of living while displaced due to mandatory evacuations and could include housing costs, extra food, furniture rentals, relocation costs, storage costs and transportation costs.

Because homeowners often spend out-of-pocket money for these expenses without ever requesting their reimbursements, the CDI is encouraging them to turn to their policies for financial relief.

“Families are already fearful of losing everything they own,” CDI Commissioner Dave Jones recently shared with the media. “They should not worry about paying for hotels, meals and other incidentals.”

It’s important to note that ALE policy provisions, including deductibles, vary by company. Homeowners should be sure to check with their insurers to see what limitations may apply to their coverage.

(Image: Kiwi NZ)