Wildfire Victims Could Tap Insurance for Evacuation Cost Reimbursement - Insurance May Help Evacuated Residents Even If Homes Not Damaged
2008 Telegraph Fire in Mariposa County
Sierra Sun Times file photo
A Reminder for all Wildfires
October 9, 2017 - NAPA/SANTA ROSA/BUTTE, Calif. - Thousands of residents from Butte, Sonoma, and Napa counties ordered to evacuate may have homeowner or renter insurance coverage to help with evacuation and relocation costs, even if their homes are not damaged or destroyed, and in many cases no deductible is required.
Known as additional living expense (ALE) the coverage typically includes food and housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage, and extra transportation expenses. If power is cut to their home, ALE will reimburse residents for the cost of food lost in refrigerators and freezers.
"Homeowners need every resource available to help them deal with the emotional and financial burden caused by wildfires," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "This is what insurance coverage is meant to do-protect you from the devastating financial effects of wildfires and other disasters."
Many homeowners are unaware that their insurance policies may cover additional living expenses incurred as a result of damage caused by fire or mandatory evacuation, allowing consumers to focus their attention on recovery.
Policy provisions, including deductibles, vary by company, so consumers should check with their insurer as soon as possible to confirm coverage, limits, and any other limitations and documentation requirements.