Homeowners insurance coverage may pay for Sand Fire evacuation expenses

California wildfire damage

Many home and renters policyholders may be pleasantly surprised to discover they can be reimbursed the costs.

The Sand Fire has destroyed eighteen homes, but for those who were evacuated, homeowners insurance coverage may still help. Many of the 20,000 evacuees don’t realize that their renters insurance and home policies cover those expenses.

The fire burned its way into the Santa Clarita region and left massive physical and financial damage behind.

Still, for those who were evacuated and faced the costs of having to live elsewhere, some relief may be on the way. Most renters and homeowners insurance coverage does include a basic provision called additional living expense (ALE). Still, the majority of those who have it don’t even know it’s there.

This additional living expense insurance coverage doesn’t require your home to have been burned to file a claim. In fact, the home may not have suffered any damages at all. Policyholders can typically make an ALE claim when they have experienced a mandatory or forced evacuation.

As the Sand Fire led to a mandatory evacuation, this homeowners insurance coverage applies to many affected by it.

homeowners insurance coverage for wildfire alternate living expensesThis coverage helps to reimburse homeowners insurance policyholders for the additional costs they faced as a result of forced relocation. Anyone considering filing a claim should keep all receipts of costs incurred as they will be needed as proof of expenses.

According to a California Department of Insurance spokesperson, Nancy Kincaid, “If you are ordered to a mandatory evacuation and you have expenses while you are ordered out of your home for a hotel or for meals, things that you need, cleaning — any of those things — those are reimbursable up to the limit of your policy.”

That said, homeowners are reminded that insurance claims will be approved only when the evacuation was mandatory. Therefore, anyone in the surrounding region who evacuated voluntarily may not be eligible to make a claim.

The Department of Insurance also pointed out that most people never end up using that coverage. They simply don’t realize that homeowners insurance coverage extends to those expenses. This, despite the fact that it is considered one of the standard forms of protection in a policy.

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