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California Wildfire Disasters: The Interpretation and Implementation of Our New Insurance Laws

By: Amy Davis

On a Thursday morning, I received the call that no daughter ever wants to receive. It was from my mom and her car was surrounded by fire. At the same time that I was taking my mom’s call, my dad and stepmom were sending me videos of several fires on the opposite side of town from where my mom was located. This was Paradise, California, November 8th, 2018.

November 11, 2018, I flew to Chico to be with family and friends and to help them with their insurance claims. Almost immediately, the question arose, “Can we just cut our losses and move?” The answer was an easy “yes.” Fortunately for survivors of the Camp Fire and future wildfire victims, California has passed several laws aimed at protecting persons whose interests are covered under insurance policies following a declared disaster.

Insureds whose homes are a total loss can now use a greater amount of their policies’ coverages to purchase an existing home or rebuild elsewhere....

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