Call Toll Free (800) 598-5017

Dawson and Rosenthal
Dawson and Rosenthal

San Diego Wildfire Claims

The wildfires ravaging the San Diego area are a disaster of epic proportions. Occurring seemingly every year, these uncontrollable fires destroy homes and cause massive insurance claims throughout California. Wildfires started by nature occur sometimes, but most cases are man-made.

San Diego Wildfire Statistics

So far in 2018 4,457 wildfires have occurred in California, burning 378,429 acres. People caused as many as 90% of wildfires. Other surprising statics include:

  • Verisk’s 2017 Wildfire Risk Analysis found 4.5 million U.S. homes were at high risk for wildfire. Two million of those homes are right here in California.
  • California is the number one state most prone to wildfires.
  • The costliest wildfire to date happened in California at Oakland Hills on October 20-21, 1991. The total insurance loss in 2016 dollars would have been $2,746 million dollars.
  • In fact, seven of the top 10 most expensive fires happened in California.

Common Wildfire Policies in San Diego

Legislators recently signed regulations requiring insurance agencies to tell customers whether their insurance policy allows the holder to rebuild or replace the insured home. Your policy should have built-in living expenses for the months until your home is rebuilt. This is a common part of a wildfire policy. No one rebuilds a home in a day, and you and your family will need a place to live while the rebuild is happening.

A good rule of thumb is to keep all brush away from your home. Trim back any bushes or dense clusters of trees that might be hazardous to your home. Look at the wind patterns in your area to be ahead of the game. If your roof is wooden and located near an area full of trees, you may not receive adequate insurance coverage. When purchasing a house in California, it is important to consider all these factors. If you already own your home, consider making some fire-safe changes to your roof and your landscape.

Wildfire Claims and Bad Faith

When a wildfire strikes, it is not only your home that suffers. Hundreds, maybe thousands of homes, all need rebuilding at the same time. This causes the demand for building materials and the price of goods to skyrocket. California law entitles an insurance policyholder to receive the price for your home today. Insurance companies often neglect this small detail and try to cut a check for the price of what the home was worth before the cost of building materials skyrocketed. The key is to find a builder you trust who is willing to help you get what you need to rebuild your home.

An insurance company can deny your request for wildfire insurance if your home falls in the danger zone of regular wildfire action. Sometimes insurance companies will play this to their advantage, not allowing you the coverage you need for your home. This bad faith policy can cause you to lose everything should a wildfire strike.

Why Do You Need a Lawyer?

Because of the scope of damage from wildfires, the laws that could both help or hinder your case require expertise. You don’t want to go up against an insurance company when they have thousands – or even millions – on the line to pay you. They have their own lawyers to fight these claims, so it’s in your best financial interest to have an experienced attorney by your side.

If you are a victim of bad faith or insurance fraud, call in professional help. In an area ravaged by wildfires, hundreds of people are bound to be looking to get a settlement. You will want your case to stand out from the crowd with no margin for error. Our attorneys have over 50 years of legal experience. You can contact our attorneys to ensure that you get the help you need in rebuilding your life.