Though the wildfires continue to burn across California, insurance industry insiders have estimated that the reconstruction cost value for homes potentially at risk in the Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego areas will be more than $180 billion. Families and individuals impacted by this season’s wildfires in California will generally have claims for fire, smoke and/or ash damage to their homes, property within their homes, and automobiles.

Authors: David E. Weiss Cristina M. Shea Amber S. Finch

First Steps After a Wildfire

This checklist from United Policyholders will help keep homeowners on track during this stressful time. United Policyholders is a nonprofit organization that has been educating and advocating for disaster victims since 1991.

  • Take care of your or your family’s immediate needs first.
  • Finding temporary housing is a priority. Your insurance company should help you find a place of similar size.
  • Start a recovery diary. Take notes on: who you talked to, the number you called, date and time, what was said. Keep your paperwork organized.
  • Ask your insurance company for cash advances for: (i) living expenses, and (ii) replacing personal property

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