Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fire Victims May Be Eligible for Reimbursement

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is reminding residents who have been evacuated because of the Basin Complex Fires in Big Sur, the Gap Fire in Santa Barbara and other fires throughout the state that they may be eligible for reimbursement for additional living expenses due to mandatory evacuations. Businesses may also be eligible for reimbursement due to lost business.

"The last thing fire evacuees should have to worry about is how to pay for their hotel stays, extra food and other additional living expenses," said Poizner. "Many homeowners insurance policies cover some additional living expenses due to mandatory evacuations. Evacuees should check their policies as soon as possible, and if they have any insurance questions, they should call my Department at 800-927-HELP."

Many residential homeowners insurance policies cover what is known as ALE, or additional living expenses. This permits homeowners to maintain their normal standard of living by covering the increased living expenses incurred as a result of damage caused by the fire or a mandatory evacuation. ALE coverage typically includes extra food costs, increased housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage costs, telephone installation and extra transportation costs to and from school or work.

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