American Property Casualty Insurance Association
  • Staff Contact: Nicole Mahrt-Ganley     
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Contact:

Nicole Mahrt Ganley

Phone:

916-616-5855

Email:

Nicole.mahrt@pciaa.net

 

 

FOR RELEASE ON RECEIPT

January 17, 2014

PCI urges Residents in Glendora and Azusa Areas to Seek Safety and Contact Insurers

LOS ANGELES –With mandatory evacuations and wildfire threatening more than 2,000 homes in the Glendora and Azusa areas of California, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) urges residents to heed the warnings of state and local officials and seek safety. Once you’re in a safe location, residents should save receipts for expenses and contact their insurance companies through their toll free claims telephone numbers.

As of January 17, the fire sparked by an illegal campfire is said to be 30 percent contained and burned close to 2,000 acres destroying five homes and several other structures. Approximately 800 firefighters are on the front lines, but the strong Santa Ana winds could play a factor in containing the fire today.

Evacuate and Contact Insurer

“Given the extreme drought conditions in the West, extra precautions should be taken as wildfires can break out at any time and destroy homes in a matter of minutes,” said Chris Hackett, director of personal lines for PCI. “It’s important once you’re in a safe location that you make contact with your insurer, which will help you begin the recovery process if your home is damaged by the wildfire. Make sure to save receipts for hotels and meals, as those expenses may be covered under your policy.”

Key insurance elements for evacuees to remember:

Follow your family evacuation plan and have all family members meet at one previously agreed upon location or call one relative or friend out of the area to communicate and plan next steps.

Remember to bring eyeglasses, medicines or other important items and prepare for your pet’s needs by bringing leashes, food and other items.

If possible, prior to evacuating, policyholders should bring their important paperwork with them including a copy of their insurance policy. Policyholders should contact their insurance company immediately once they are evacuated.

Policyholders who have lost their homes to the fires are immediately eligible for Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage which may reimburse for increased living expenses such as, lodging, clothing, toiletries and other necessities. Policyholders who are evacuated for a period of time by state or local officials, and do NOT lose their home, may also be eligible for ALE reimbursement if the home next door is damaged by fire, and civil authorities prevent you from returning to your home. Remember to keep your receipts so it will make the claims process easier.

Wildfire Preparedness Tips:

Review Your Policy Regularly – Review your property insurance policy with your insurance company or agent. If you have recently remodeled or built a new addition onto your property, be sure to increase the amount of protection to cover the changes to the property. If your home is paid off, be sure to maintain coverage.

Keep an Inventory − To speed claims processing, keep an inventory of your possessions and photograph or videotape them for documentation purposes. After a fire, list the items that were destroyed or damaged along with a brief description that includes receipts, appraisals, and the age, current value, make, model and serial number of items.

Create Defensive Space − For those living in high fire hazard areas, the best protection is defensive space. Clear the land around dwellings of all vegetation. Experts recommend that the cleared area extend at least 100 feet from the dwelling in all directions.

More Resources:

Insurers Toll free Contact Numbers:

Http://www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/176/$file/Insurance_Tollfree_Numbers_061213.pdf

PCI Insurance Checklist and Tips: During and After the Fire:

Http://www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/176/$file/NatCat_Insurance_Checklist_061213.pdf'

Insurance Tips for How to Physically Prepare for Wildfire Season:

http://www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/176/$file/NatCat_Docs_Physical_Preparedness_0513.pdf

Insurance Tips for Financially Preparing for Wildfires:

http://www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/176/$file/NatCat_Docs_Financial_Preparedness_0513.pdf

PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $195 billion in annual premium, 39 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent of the homeowners market, 37 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.

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