Across the nation, people are keeping up with news about the infamous California wildfires. The losses caused by these natural disasters are nothing short of devastating. Wildfire insurance claims reach nearly $12 billion statewide, and continue to grow like the flames. Additionally, the U.S. Forest Service reports fires have torched over 1 million acres of California land this year.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced he is taking extra measures to ensure protection for wildfire survivors. His plan will jumpstart with asking insurers to expedite claims involving wildfire damage. Policyholders will potentially benefit from advance payments, which will help cover living expenses for the next few months.

The California Department of Insurance reports that there will be fast payments for damaged or totaled vehicles. Other procedures promise expedited debris removal and leniency for billing deadlines.

Year-round California fires present peril

Jones strongly encourages insurers to practice expedited claims handling procedures, whether by gathering more adjusters or providing the proper training. Due to the state of emergency, insurers are allowed to hire out-of-state adjusters to assist in the process.

All claims adjusters are still required to go through standard training about laws such as the Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations and California Unfair Practices Act. Nearly all insurance providers have agreed to meet act on these requests.

It’s easy to understand why filing an insurance claim is a nightmare. Residents and businesses combined are suffering from destroyed facilities and permanent loss. As a business owner, it’s important to stay prepared, organized and know your insurance policy.