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California Asks Insurance Companies To Give Camp Fire Evacuees Cash Advance

Bob Moffitt / CapRadio

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones speaks at a press conference, with Rick Lopes of the California Contractors State License Board, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea and Butte County District Attorney Michael Ramsey.

Bob Moffitt / CapRadio

Some homeowners who lost everything in California's wildfires may get money faster than normal from insurance companies.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says he is asking insurers to give them an advance.

"Every homeowners insurance policy in the state typically has what's called additional living expense coverage, which covers people's out-of-pocket costs for hotels, motels, transportation, clothing and food. You're entitled to that money,” said Jones, who added that he’s asked insurers to cut checks for up to four months.

Speaking at a Federal Emergency Management Agency center in Chico, Jones is also warning people with losses from state wildfires to hold off dealing with any public, licensed insurance adjusters to help with claims processing, which can be expensive.

"Don't sign up for that just yet, he said. “Work with your insurance company. Work with your insurance agent. Start the claims process. Call the Department of Insurance with any questions. You might find you don't need to pay someone 10 percent or 20 percent of your insurance recovery to help you with the claims process."

The California Department of Insurance says it helped people obtain $52 million that they may not have received after fires north of San Francisco last year.

in 2017, insurance companies paid $12.6 billion in claims for more than 6,000 residences.

This year, their have been twice that many homes burned in the Camp Fire alone.

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