June 10, 2010
ESCONDIDO — Standing in front of an Escondido home that rose from the ashes of the 2007 wildfires, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said yesterday that the pain of post-fire recovery and rebuilding has finally ended for most of the victims. Poizner, who is running for governor, said 99 percent of the 40,000 insurance claims filed by homeowners whose houses burned down or were...

June 9, 2010
With the news media filled with stories lately about natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires, many consumers may be wondering when to purchase additional insurance to protect their homes from Mother Nature. My husband and I certainly have been concerned with the topic since moving to California this year. Here’s a look at how to determine if your home needs extra insurance...

June 9, 2010
Just one third have rebuilt; one half submitted plans for reconstruction   Two years after the 2007 firestorm, the path to recovery continues to be slow and arduous for hundreds of San Diego County residents who lost their homes. Only one-third have finished rebuilding. And nearly half have not submitted any construction plans, according to local building and planning officials. Fire...

June 9, 2010
Bill Clingan was around when the Loma Prieta earthquake sucker-punched the Bay Area 20 years ago. His Walnut Creek home suffered no damage, which is why he feels comfortable today not having earthquake insurance. "It's very expensive. Deductibles are high. It's just not worth it," said Clingan, a retiree who worked in the chemical marketing industry. "For what you get it's not cost effective."...
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June 9, 2010
A Coast policyholder is appealing to the state Supreme Court for access to Mississippi Insurance Department records that would show the dollar amount of Katrina claims denied by insurance companies. Long Beach policyholder Kevin Buckel filed a written request in January 2009 for records showing the total amount of damages homeowners claimed, the total amount paid and the total amount denied by...
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June 9, 2010
Some residents of areas burned by the Station fire are buying flood policies on top of fire and earthquake plans, hoping that at least one will accept mudslide damage claims. Charred slopes in the foothills towering above William Johnson's La Cañada Flintridge home are now a mudslide in the making after being burned by recent wildfires. But getting insurance has been impossible for him and...

June 9, 2010
Contact your insurance agent to determine what exactly your current homeowner insurance policies cover and whether they're up to date, then assess whether flood insurance is necessary.  If you need flood insurance, act fast. Policies usually go into effect 30 days after purchase, and the winter rainy season is not far away.  Ask whether your insurer participates in the National Flood...
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June 9, 2010
The wildfire survivor profiled in this Orange County Register article has been attending United Policyholders’ Roadmap to Recovery meetings and was pictured in our spring newsletter receiving her copy of the Disaster Recovery Handbook and Household Inventory Guide. Readers mourned and complained when we ended Teryl Zarnow's family column. Many of us shared her experiences as our children grew...
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June 9, 2010
Three of Alabama's four largest home insurers are raising rates, although State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., the state's largest, is giving coastal residents something of a break. No. 1 State Farm, No. 2 Alfa Mutual group and No. 4 Farmers Insurance Group — the firms that have won state approval for increases — together control 57 percent of the state's homeowners market. Company officials said...

June 9, 2010
California’s burning, again; the flames north of Los Angeles, also known as the Station Fire, have already killed two people, and are threatening tens of thousands of homes, causing the governor to declare a state of emergency in Los Angeles and Monterey counties. So of course it’s time for a little primer on fire insurance. I know, you may think you understand fire insurance because you know...