Last month, the California Department of Insurance issued a notice to insurance companies, insurance agents, and public adjusters regarding the recent wildfires in the state. Although the notice is directed to insurance companies, agents, and adjusters, it provides useful information for policyholders affected by the wildfires. According to the Department of Insurance press release discussing the notice, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones directed the Department to issue the notice following reports that insurance adjusters were giving wildfire victims incorrect information about their property insurance claims.
Continue Reading Department of Insurance Bulletin Provides Notice to Insurance Companies and Useful Information for Wildfire Victims

The recent fires in Napa Valley and Sonoma, California present numerous issues for homeowners and business owners alike when it comes to navigating insurance claims. Questions arise as to what coverages are provided under a given insurance policy, how determinations on what is owed are made, what are the options on rebuilding, loss of income

My colleague Denise Sze recently blogged about the Butte and Valley wildfires. More than 5,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Indeed, many residents face a painful road to recovery.

Last week, to increase the speed of the recovery process for wildfire victims, California Insurance Commissioner Jones obtained agreements from several insurance companies to adopt various claims handling reforms.


Continue Reading Voluntary Claims Handling Reforms for Wildfires Promoted by California Insurance Commissioner

As promised yesterday in Wildfire and Smoke Claims – A Case Burning With Issues That Public Adjusters Should Study, today’s post will be the first study from the recent decision in Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds.1 The initial question is how long has the expert has been doing what he is asked to do. The fire in Falcon involved a September 2011 wildfire in Texas.


Continue Reading Vetting Fire and Smoke Experts – Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds Case Study

Wildfire cases are unique and have many evidentiary issues. Public adjusters have been making claims for damage by fire, heat, and especially smoke. State Farm and its able trial counsel successfully appear to be fighting back in Falcon v State Farm Lloyds.1


Continue Reading Wildfire and Smoke Claims – A Case Burning With Issues That Public Adjusters Should Study

California has kept rainfall records since the start of the Gold Rush in the mid-1800s. 2013 ended up being the driest year on record in California history.1 That is pretty incredible when you think about it. The state is finally getting some much needed rain this weekend as a big storm rolls by.


Continue Reading Finally Some Rain for California – Mudslides A Danger for Residents in Wildfire Burn Areas

The wildfire burning in and around Yosemite National Park is very much in the news. Not anywhere close to being contained, the so-called Rim Fire has burned nearly 234 square miles (some news outlets are equating the burn area with the size of the city of Chicago) and continues to spread and threaten many homes.


Continue Reading California Homeowners: Check Your Insurance Policy for Possible Changes Regarding Wildfire Coverage

Since Thursday, a wildfire in Camarillo (situated in Ventura County on the outskirts of Los Angeles) has burned at least 10,000 acres and is just 10% contained according to fire officials. The so-called Springs Fire has prompted numerous evacuations and is threatening 4,000 homes and 300 commercial properties.


Continue Reading California Homeowners Urged to be Prepared as Wildfire Season Starts Early: Policyholders Should Understand Their Rights