KERN, Calif. – The devastation of a fire can overwhelm even the strongest person. Even those just forced to evacuate while firefighters attempt to save their home incur unexpected expenses. Quickly moving from your home and securing a place to stay can be costly, not to mention those who take certain items from their home with them that need to be stored.
The California Department of Insurance would like to remind residents affected by fires that their homeowners or renters insurance may provide coverage for these unexpected expenses. Recently, thousands of residents from Kern County have been forced to leave their homes due to the Erskine Fire. This fire is threatening approximately 1500 homes and has spread to around 19,000 acres. The fire has already torn through 100 structures, which includes 80 homes.
“Displacement due to disaster can burden evacuees financially and emotionally,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “It is important to help residents recover and get their lives back on track. Many evacuees may be unaware if their insurance policy covers additional living expenses associated with mandatory evacuation and recovery. I urge evacuees to contact their insurer for assistance if needed.”
Homeowners and renters should call their insurance company to ask about ALE coverage, this coverage also called additional living expense coverage permits beneficiaries to maintain their normal living standards. This coverage will cover the increased living expenses incurred as a result of the fire or mandatory evacuations. The California Department of insurance officials said that ALE usually covers food and housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage, and extra transportation expenses.
Residents should save all receipts for the expenses associated with the relocation. Coverage depends on the policy and the company. Fire victims should call the department’s Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357 (HELP) for questions about their insurance coverage.
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- Photo Courtesy of Ca. Dept. of Insurance: Ca. Dept. of Insurance