News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: June 2, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Poizner Hosts Insurance Recovery Forum in Santa Barbara to Assist Jesusita Fire Survivors with Recovery Efforts
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner hosted a town hall-style Insurance Recovery Forum for Jesusita Fire survivors on Tuesday in Santa Barbara. Commissioner Poizner was joined by local, state and federal officials, as well as representatives from the insurance industry who answered specific insurance questions for fire victims.
"Last month's Jesusita Fire burned eighty homes to the ground in Santa Barbara, and my heart goes out to all fire survivors for the tremendous losses they have had to endure," said Commissioner Poizner. "I am here today to let all fire survivors know that they are not alone on the road to recovery. The Department of Insurance is here to help until survivors are paid every last penny they are owed."
The Jesusita Fire burned 8,733 acres, destroying 80 homes and damaging 15. So far, the Department has received and is actively investigating three complaints from consumers regarding the Jesusita Fire. Commissioner Poizner urges anyone with an insurance-related question or issue to call the Department's Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP.
Commissioner Poizner hosted Tuesday's Forum to help expedite the recovery process for fire survivors. He will continue to monitor wildfire recovery efforts, assist consumers with complaints and make sure that insurance companies are fulfilling their legal obligations to customers.
At Commissioner Poizner's Insurance Recovery Forum, he was joined by representatives from the Office of Governor Schwarzenegger, Federal Small Business Administration, California Emergency Management Agency, California Contractors State Licensing Board, Office of Assemblyman Pedro Nava, Office of Senator Tony Strickland, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf, Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services, Santa Barbara County Planning and Development,
Santa Barbara City Community Development Department, Personal Insurance Federation of California, Association of California Insurance Companies, and individual insurance companies with policyholders in the impacted area.
On Monday, Commissioner Poizner announced that he will hold a hearing in Santa Barbara in August to discuss any concerns local homeowners and fire victims have with the availability of private homeowners insurance and the Fair Plan. Last month, Commissioner Poizner Deployed Department of Insurance consumer information experts to the Santa Barbara Local Assistance Center to help Jesusita Fire survivors with recovery efforts. Following the November 2008 wildfires, Commissioner Poizner hosted Insurance Recovery Forums for fire survivors in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, connecting survivors with the resources they needed to get back on their feet quickly.
Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
If you are a member of the public wishing information, please visit our Consumer Services.