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Dawson and Rosenthal
Dawson and Rosenthal

Californians wildfire victims still trying to recover financially

California’s recent wildfires have died down, ending a particularly brutal wildfire season. The past six months have been a turbulent period for wildfire victims, from private residents to local businesses. Experiencing the terrifying fires was difficult enough; now, survivors must also file insurance claims, recover their lost property and try to put their lives back together.

But despite survivors’ best efforts, it looks as though it will take a long time to completely recover financially. The wildfires took a devastating financial toll on thousands of people, and many insurance companies are not doing their part to help their clients. In fact, some insurance companies have actively contributed to the financial hardship of their clients who are wildfire survivors.

Denying claims

Filing insurance claims has also become a major headache for many victims who are trying to recover. In addition to the tedious bureaucratic process of filling out paperwork and submitting the right forms, some clients are worried that their insurance providers will not cover their claims at all. Insurance providers do not always act in their customers’ best interest. Many insurers’ goal is simply to make as much money as possible, often at their clients’ expense. This leads them to wrongfully deny their policyholders’ claims in an act of bad faith.

Not paying for transition housing

One significant cost that insurers are supposed to cover for their clients is transitional housing. People who lost their homes to the fires had to quickly find new accommodations. Staying with a relative, friend or neighbor was not always possible, since many had also lost their homes. The alternative was to stay in a hotel or rental, which can quickly become expensive. Most fire insurance policies are supposed to cover the price of temporary accommodations, but many policyholders found themselves in a battle with insurers who refused to cover the costs.