Chase Mathis called me on Tuesday morning as soon as my plane touched down in New Jersey to ask if he could be interviewed by a San Francisco radio station about the insurance issues those suffering from the California wildfires were facing. He explained the radio station called and wanted him to answer certain questions about insurance issues facing California wineries and policyholders. While Chase is a young star attorney in the Merlin Law Group, he is also located in New Jersey and has not litigated losses in California. So, I said “sure, but be certain to pull all the research our firm has been doing over the last couple of weeks regarding this disaster before the interview.”
Following a disaster like a fire, most people have 101 legitimate questions about everything involving their insurance and their insurance claim. They want to know what to do, what their insurance policies cover, how to make certain they are getting all they entitled, whether they can trust their insurance company, how they go about determining how much is owed, what is owed and where they live until repairs are completed, what their options are on rebuilding, who they should trust to do repairs, how much can they buy for their emergency personal property needs, how they can rebuild their structure, and many more. Some of these questions are easy for an experienced and knowledgeable insurance expert to answer, but some take a long time to explain because there are various options all policyholders face after the loss occurs and the insurance process starts.
Homeowners, renters, and business owners who are victims of the most recent California wildfires should make themselves knowledgeable and keep a skeptical eye open. I mentioned this in a recent post, Insurance Catastrophe Claims Often Deserve a Second Opinion and Possibly a Legal Opinion, and the article I cite in the post is a very good reference for anybody to read who just suffered a 2017 disaster to their home or business.
Victims of the California wildfires should especially read the information published by United Policyholders. Amy Bach is United Policyholders executive director, and I had the pleasure of presenting her a consumer advocacy award as noted in, Amy Bach Honored by the Florida Association for Insurance Reform.
This Merlin Law Group blog has a search function at the very top. For over a decade, we have been writing answers to the questions most policyholders have about any topic you can possibly think of regarding a fire claim. Simply put the question into the search function and numerous articles on the topic will be found.
Finally, if all else fails, call or email me or one of our attorneys. We answer questions all the time from those tragically suffering losses. No question is to simple or embarrassing. When these questions are made, it also teaches us the types of issues being faced in the field and which we can write more about.