by United Policyholders

 

If you were affected by the recent (2015, 2017, 2018) Northern California Wildfires you have until 5pm on Monday, October 21st, 2019 to file a claim form to potentially recieve compensation from PG&E for your uninsured losses. 

We encourage you to watch the webinar below on how and why to submit a claim.

 

 

Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q: PG&E filed bankruptcy -- doesn’t that mean they are broke?

No. PG&E has tens of billions of dollars in assets and investors are willing to put billions more into the company to settle fire claims and own a piece of the restructured utility. PG&E has substantial resources that can be used to compensate fire victims for their losses.

 

Q: What if I already received money from my insurance company? Can I still file a claim?

Yes. Many of the types of losses listed below are not covered by insurance. And even if you received a payment from your insurance company, there is a good chance that it didn’t cover all of your losses.  You can file a claim for the amount you were underinsured by.

 

Q: Won’t my insurance company take all my recovery?

No. You are entitled to more than property losses, including the categories listed below.

 

Q: My home survived. Do I still have a claim?

Yes. Claims for fire damage are not limited to home loss, and can include:

  • Personal injury or wrongful death
  • Loss of personal property
  • Damage to home or structures (including smoke and ash damage)
  • Business loss or interruption
  • Lost wages or earning capacity
  • Loss of community and essential services

 

  • Agricultural damage
  • Damage to trees or landscaping
  • Evacuation/relocation costs
  • Emotional distress (evacuation, loss of society and support, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, annoyance and discomfort)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q: What will it cost me to file a claim?

You can file a claim without an attorney, in which case it will cost you nothing to file a claim. You may wish to consult with an attorney of your choice for assistance in preparing and filing a claim, particularly if your damages are especially severe or complex. Most attorneys are working on a contingency fee basis, which means that they are paid by receiving a percentage of your recovery and you will not have to pay them anything upfront.

 

Q: How long before we see any money?

It is hard to tell right now, but it is important to remember that, unlike a typical bankruptcy, which can take years, the PG&E bankruptcy is on a fast track, and PG&E is motivated to emerge from bankruptcy in a matter of months, not years (by June 2020) so that it can share in a legislative plan to provide funds to cover future wildfire liability. To emerge from bankruptcy, PG&E needs court approval—and approval by a majority of creditors, including Fires claimants—of a Plan to pay creditors. This Plan would include provisions to pay the timely and allowed claims.

 

Q: How much work is involved in submitting a claim?

Very little. If you are filing yourself, you will need to complete a Wildfire Proof of Claim Form. You can fill out and submit the form electronically, or download a copy of the form at this website: https://restructuring.primeclerk.com/pge/EPOC-Index. Your form must be received by October 21, 2019, or you may be barred from making any claim. If you choose to hire an attorney, your attorney should fill out the form for you. You can file the form electronically at the website above, or deliver a hard copy to:

 

First class mail:

PG&E Corporation Claims Processing Center

c/o Prime Clerk LLC

Grand Central Station, PO Box 4850

New York, NY 10163-4850

 

Overnight courier or hand delivery:

PG&E Corporation Claims Processing Center

c/o Prime Clerk LLC

850 Third Avenue, Suite 412

Brooklyn, NY 11232

 

 

Q: What if I don’t want to get involved in a lawsuit?

The PG&E case is now in bankruptcy court, so it is not a traditional lawsuit, except for a limited number of plaintiffs who are part of the upcoming Tubbs trial. Everyone who files a claim by October 21, 2019, will be considered a “creditor” in the bankruptcy proceeding.

 

Q: What if I signed onto a lawsuit before the bankruptcy? Can I still pursue that?

All existing lawsuits against PG&E were “stayed,” or put on hold, when PG&E filed for bankruptcy. Most of these cases will now likely resolve in the bankruptcy proceedings, which means that you or your attorney must file a Proof of Claim by October 21, 2019 to preserve your right to recover.

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Additional Information and Resources:

About The Blogger

United Policyholders

United Policyholders is a non-profit organization that serves as a voice and an information resource for insurance consumers in all 50 States.