Many cities within the state of California have been hit by wildfires resulting in homes being destroyed and even individuals being injured and killed. Wildfires, like any other natural disaster, can be a real issue for homeowners. That is why it is important that your home has the proper insurance coverage so that in the event disaster strikes, you have a policy that will cover the costs to repair your home and even pay for other incurred expenses.
If you are someone living in a fire-prone area in CA and have a home that has already sustained fire damage, below are a few tips the California Department of Insurance has to offer that might help you along with the claims process. As you may already be aware, insurance companies will sometimes find a way to deny or reduce the amount of your claim, leaving you with a costly bill you cannot afford. Therefore, it is best to follow these tips and any others you might know of to avoid having this happen. In fact, anyone with a home would benefit from knowing this information just as a precaution in case a fire were to break out in or outside of their home.

  1. It is best that you obtain a complete copy of your residential insurance policy, including your declarations page. Your insurance company is required to provide this to you free of charge within 30 days of your request.  Ask your agent or insurer representative to explain your coverages so you know exactly what is and what is not covered under your policy.
  2. Know what your Additional Living Expense (ALE) limits are and manage your ALE expenses assuming the rebuilding process might take longer than expected. Take note of the fact that the time to collect ALE after a catastrophe can be extended to 24 months, however, your amount of coverage cannot be increased.
  3. Keep track of all the additional expenses that arise from having to live in another location away from your home after a disaster hit. This information will serve as your proof for your insurer so they know what was spent and how much they need to reimburse you given you have adequate coverage.
  4. Document the conversations you have with your adjuster about your claim and policy limitations. Don’t hesitate to ask the adjuster to point out the specific provisions in your policy in which they are citing.
  5. It’s always a good idea to get at least one estimate from a licensed contractor regarding the cost to rebuild your home so that you have an idea as to what the actual cost for repairs is compared to what your coverage limits are.
  6. The CA Department of Insurance says that you have the right to rebuild your home using your own contractor.
  7. Be sure you assess your situation and do not rush into hiring a contractor to begin making the necessary repairs to your home. They do, however, encourage you to “move forward if you have obtained multiple bids from reputable licensed contractors, are certain you want to rebuild, are sure of the rebuilding costs and your insurance limits and want to be sure you are a priority for your selected contractor to start the rebuild.”
  8. Refrain from assuming you have inadequate coverage based on general information you heard regarding the building costs or other general comments.
  9. Evaluate whether you will need to hire a Los Angeles, CA insurance claims attorney to assist you with your claim.

If you recently submitted an insurance claim for damage your home sustained but are finding your insurer isn’t providing you with a fair amount of compensation, contact a local Los Angeles denied insurance claim attorney for assistance.
Unfortunately, many homeowner’s find that their insurance company won’t cover the actual cost of the damages their home sustained or delay processing their claim to the point where they have to pay for the repairs out of their own pockets. It is circumstances such as these that would benefit from the help an insurance claim denial lawyer can provide.
So, if you are finding that your insurer isn’t complying with the terms of your policy or seems to be handling your claim unfairly, let help you retain an insurance attorney in Los Angeles that can help resolve the problem.

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