Insight With Beth Ruyak

Hosted By Beth Ruyak

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Wildfire Victims Turn To California Department Of Insurance For Help

Noah Berger / AP Photo

Chris and Nancy Brown embrace while searching through the remains of their home, leveled by the Camp Fire, in Paradise, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018. As the fire approached, Nancy Brown escaped from the home with her 2-year-old and three dogs.

Noah Berger / AP Photo

Butte County residents are confronting another monumental task after surviving the Camp Fire: navigating their insurance policies.  

The California Department of Insurance is working to help homeowners and businesses recover erroneously denied claims and incorrectly charged premiums. Since the 2017 fire season, the California Department of Insurance’s consumer services team has helped policyholders in the North Bay obtain an additional $52 million of claims, and returned $530 million of incorrectly charged premiums and errors and claims denials.

Earlier this year, the Department of Insurance drew attention to the rising rate of non-renewals for policies in California, especially for properties facing the greatest wildfire risk. It reported that nearly half of the counties in California have about 25% of the local residential housing inventory in high or very high risk wildfire zones.

Nancy Kincaid is the press secretary for California Department of Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. She joins Insight to discuss programs available to those who lost everything and how other people living in the wildland-urban interface can prepare for future risks. She also explains why one small carrier (Merced Property and Casualty Company) is being liquidated.

You can call the toll-free consumer assistance line at (800) 927-4357 for help with a policy or claim or question about coverage.

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