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Dawson and Rosenthal
Dawson and Rosenthal

Insurance companies often let down wildfire survivors

Although it has been nearly five months since devastating wildfires damaged thousands of California homes, thousands residents are still struggling to get their insurance providers to pay their damages. Many policyholders are realizing an uncomfortable, frustrating truth: That their insurance companies do not want to fulfill their promises.

Insurance companies are not your friend

Californians who purchase insurance policies as protection against wildfire damage expect that their insurance companies will honor their contracts. Increasingly, residents are saying that their insurance providers are difficult to work with, not offering fair insurance payouts and sometimes brazenly failing to honor their promises.

One wildfire survivor stated that she often spends eight hours a day on the phone with her insurance provider, painstakingly documenting every interaction in the hope that she will be able to recoup her losses. Her conversations with adjusters have been fruitless, despite her best efforts. She said that she has come to the painful realization that insurance companies are not friends to their customers.

Fighting back

Many victims of the wildfires feel the same way. Just a few of the measures that some Californians have resorted to in their attempts to receive fair settlements include writing letters to their elected officials, spending hours studying insurance websites, contacting the Department of Insurance and uniting with other wronged policyholders.

One major issue regarding wildfire insurance has been out-of-state adjusters who come to California without understanding the state’s insurance law. Many of these adjusters also failed to register with the state and worked without supervision. As a result, these adjusters frequently mislead and take advantage of California residents. The Department of Insurance is currently facing a lawsuit for failing to regulate these out-of-state insurance adjusters.