In the latest update to the 2018 California wildfire saga, the California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones asked residential insurers to waive inventory requirements. This would be extraordinarily helpful for thousands of California residents who have been directly affected by wildfires this season.
According to the commissioner’s request, residential insurers would pay 75 to 100 percent of personal property or contents coverage in the event of a total loss, even without the detailed personal property inventories that most insurers require to pay out claims of that nature.
According to Jones, the current official tally for damages caused by the three major wildfires that hit California this past year is now over $9 billion. It is worth noting that as time goes on, that number will almost certainly grow.
All told these fires destroyed over 14,000 homes across the state, and killed at least 90 people with many more still missing. With so many people affected, insurers are already getting buried in claims. By allowing people to circumvent the detailed personal inventory requirements, many of those affected will be able to get back on their feet in a much more manageable amount of time.
Commissioner Jones released a statement about this issue. According to the statement, “Requiring thousands of wildfire survivors, who’ve suffered through such heartbreaking loss to create detailed inventories of their belongings and other property is adding insult to injury…I am asking insurers to follow the lead taken by some companies that have already made the call to waive the inventory requirement and begun paying policyholders.”.
Increasingly destructive natural disasters make it almost certain that the insurance industry is going to have to adapt in the coming years. Making claims more manageable and easier to file for the average consumer is a great first step.