Thousands of residents from Los Angeles County and elsewhere ordered to evacuate due to wildfires may have homeowner or renter insurance coverage to help with evacuation and relocation costs, even if their homes are not damaged or destroyed, and in many cases no deductible is required, state insurance officials said Friday.
"With sometimes only minutes to evacuate, residents often escape with only the clothes on their backs,'' said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
"Additional living expense coverage can help ease the financial burden of evacuation and is often the first step in helping residents begin the recovery process. I urge residents to reach out to their insurer and verify their coverage to get the help they need.''
Many homeowners are unaware they may have insurance coverage under their homeowner and renter policies to help them with evacuation and recovery expenses under additional living expense coverage, known as ALE. ALE coverage typically includes food and housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage, and extra transportation expenses.
The department is urging evacuees to contact their insurer to verify their ALE coverage provision, limits and learn about requirements to use the coverage. It is critical to keep all receipts and document the date, time and names of any insurance company employees you speak to regarding your coverage and details of the conversation.