In Northern California, more than a dozen wildfires that began on Sunday are still raging. These fires have become one of the deadliest outbreaks in the state’s history, already burning through more than 100,000 acres, destroying thousands of homes, businesses, and wineries. Growing up visiting family in the Bay Area often, and attending law school in San Francisco, I am saddened to see friends and families on social media grappling with the devastation.
At the moment, basic supplies and housing are needed to aid in the fire relief. Whether far or near, here’s one link on ways you can help victims of the wildfires: https://www.fastcompany.com/40479325/how-to-help-napa-fire-victims-8-things-you-can-do-for-californias-wine-country-right-now.
As the fires continue, an insurance claim may not be a high priority for the owners of homes, businesses and wineries. But in the days after, it is important to be familiar with the duties the Insurance Company has towards policyholders in handling these claims. California’s Insurance Code has enumerated the fair claims settlement practices these companies must adhere to, as well as those settlement practices that, when either knowingly committed on a single occasion, or performed with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice, are considered unfair and prohibited by the Code.1
If you have been affected by the fire in Northern California and your insurance company fails to meet its obligations, contact an experienced insurance professional.