News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: August 25, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Asks: Are Los Angeles-Area Homeowners Prepared For Wildfires?
Fire danger increased as temperatures expected to soar to triple digits
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today advised all local homeowners to proactively prepare for fires and other potential disasters by conducting a home inventory and updating their insurance policies. Joining Poizner at the event were Candysse Miller of the Insurance Information Network of California (IINC), Greg Stanton of the Meadows Fire Safe Council and Deputy Chief David Richardson of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Together they encouraged Southern California homeowners to prepare their assets for the possibility of a disaster.
"Today marks the eve of the one year anniversary of the Station fire, and we learned many lessons from that experience, but none more important than the fact that wildfires can strike and destroy in the blink of an eye, and we have especially seen this happen over and over again in Southern California," said Commissioner Poizner. "That's why I want to encourage all homeowners to prepare themselves today for potential wildfires. Waiting for a fire to erupt before conducting a home inventory and reviewing your insurance policy means you could get burned twice - first by the fire then by trying to recover your losses. These are concrete steps all Californians can take today to protect their homes and belongings."
"When buying insurance, take the time to describe your home in detail and answer the insurers' questions so they have a clear picture of what you have and what you need. Raise your deductible to keep your premium down without sacrificing coverage," said Amy Bach, Executive Director of United Policyholders. "Ask the insurer point blank: If my home is destroyed, will I have enough insurance to replace it?" Commissioner Poizner urges all homeowners to prepare themselves, and conduct a home inventory to maintain detailed records of their belongings.
Commissioner Poizner offered the following tips for conducting a home inventory:
· Using a household digital camera and a Home Inventory Guide from the California Department of Insurance, catalogue your possessions and document their values. Photographs of household goods are especially helpful when an item is difficult to describe on paper, or if a purchase receipt cannot be obtained.
· Label photographs with information about each item.
· If a video recorder is used, commentary about each item should be included.
· A copy of the inventory and supporting documentation, such as receipts and model numbers, should be stored in a safe place, such as a safe-deposit box, work office, or a relative's house.
· These records should also include financial documents such as insurance policies and mortgage information.
· A free Home Inventory Guide is available at www.insurance.ca.gov.
· Contact CDI at 800-927-HELP to obtain consumer information guides about additional insurance products, or for any insurance-related questions.
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.