On this blog, we often try to educate homeowners so they can be protected. In the past, we have urged homeowners to read their homeowner insurance policies and to ask questions if there are terms or provisions they do not understand. Well, here is another important tip: Obtain a copy of your policy from your insurance company at least once a year. Why? It is the best way to confirm that you have valid insurance coverage.
This past week, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) settled an enforcement action against an insurer over claims handling practices from the November 2008 Sayre wildfire. The insurer charged with wrongdoing was New Hampshire Insurance Company (“New Hampshire”), a subsidiary of AIG. The Sayre fire burned in Sylmar, California, and was the eighth most damaging wildfire in California history in terms of structural damage. It destroyed over 600 structures.
California is known to have consumer friendly laws when it comes to insurance. With all the codes and regulations, it’s good to know the California Department of Insurance (CDI) published "Fair Claims Settlement Practice Regulations" under Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations. Although Title 10 encompasses many facets, the regulations provide a concise time limit for claims handling.
Next Friday, the California Association of Public Adjusters will celebrate with founder Stan Kaufman, at their bi-monthly luncheon in Simi Valley. But it is Robin Kaufman, Stan’s daughter, who is making headlines. On July 7, the California Insurance Commisioner held a press conference. In the press conference, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones advised California insureds to be prepared with evacuation plans and an inventory of personal belongings in case a wildfire should erupt. Jones warned that homeowners needed to be extra vigilant and make sure there is defensible space around their homes and property.
When considering the selection of an insurance commissioner, why not vote for somebody that knows about insurance laws and regulations rather than a politician? The race for California’s Insurance Commissioner had a stunning result demonstrating that the Republican electorate might make such a selection. Brian FitzGerald, an insurance enforcement attorney in the California Department of Insurance with virtually no political campaign other than a Facebook website holds a small lead for the Republican nomination for California’s insurance commissioner.