As Rocky Fire in Northern California Destroys Homes and Continues to Expand, Insurers Offers Advice
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As the Rocky Fire continues to destroy homes and expand in Lake, Yolo, and Colusa counties, insurers are offering advice to assist residents. According to Cal Fire more than 60,000 acres have burned with only 12% containment, forcing hundreds to evacuate. So far the fire destroyed 24 homes, and fire officials warn there could be more damage. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) encourages residents to listen to the warnings of local and state officials and seek safety if asked to evacuate.
“Once residents are in a safe location, they should contact their insurance companies through their toll free claims telephone number as soon as possible to begin receiving assistance,” said Mark Sektnan, PCI vice president.
“In emergency situations such as this, insurers want to make getting in contact with policyholders as easy as possible and are committed to getting the claims and recovery process started as soon as possible,” added Sektnan.
PCI encourages residents not directly impacted by the current fires to use these events as a wake-up call and take some simple steps to financially prepare for natural disasters.
“Don’t wait until the knock on your door comes and you are asked to leave your home and seek safety immediately. Start preparing physically and financially now. Homeowners and renters need to look at their coverage. Homeowners should update their policy to reflect any remodeling or upgrades and review your policy with your agent or company. Everyone should compile a home inventory detailing personal possessions, make a family evacuation plan, and mitigate property to reduce fire risk.”
Wildfire Reality Check Preparedness
As wildfires continue to burn throughout the state, PCI is urging all residents across California to make sure they are wildfire ready. Not only prepare their homes, but also make sure you are financially prepared as well. Here are some tips to help you prepare for what is already turning out to be a challenging wildfire season.
Wildfire Reality Check – Are You Prepared Financially?
- Do an annual insurance check up with your agent or insurer
- Understand your policy – do you have a replacement cost policy up to limits or actual cash value
- Update your policy after any home improvements
- If your home is paid off, be sure to maintain coverage
- Make sure your policy reflects your home’s correct square footage
Wildfire Reality Check – Is Your Property Prepared?
For more tips check out: http://www.readyforwildfire.org/
- Create Defensive Space – Clear 30 to 100 feet from home in all directions
- Remove dead leaves and debris from roof & rain gutters
- Remove wood piles or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows
- Trim trees branches a minimum of 10 feet from other threes. Embers are a major cause of spreading fires
- Remove vegetation and items that can catch fire under decks.
PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.