Early last week I announced that $3.2 Billion in insurance claims have been filed for the North Bay fires so far.
$3.2 Billion. The insured losses already claimed in Sonoma County alone are $2.8 Billion. That makes the Sonoma County fires the most destructive in history — worse even than the Oakland Hills Fire.
The road to recovery for these communities will be long and painful. 43 people lost their lives. 4,712 homes were completely destroyed. 10,016 homes were partially destroyed.
We have deployed our consumer services team to Local Assistance Centers in each North Bay county hit by fires. Our team has already answered questions from over 1200 consumers about their insurance and their rights.
Insurers have agreed to my request that they adopt expedited claims handling procedures. So far we have received a small number of consumer complaints, most of which we were able to resolve quickly by talking to the insurer.
If you are a fire victim or you know fire victims, let them know that they can contact the Department of Insurance consumer services hotline at 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or complaints. Check out our Wildfire Resources page on our website for helpful information.
We have also deployed our law enforcement team to deter scam artists and others who prey on vulnerable fire victims. Call us if you think someone is running a scam or trying to take advantage of a fire victim.
Thank you for the privilege of serving as Insurance Commissioner.