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California Wildfire Disaster And Car Insurance – Tens of Thousands of Car Owners Are Looking For Reimbursement

The wildfire raging across California may be the most destructive ever. With at least 31 people dead and more than 200 missing, the final outcome may be grimmer than anyone expected. The financial losses are also horrific.  In the north, the so-called Camp Fire has become the deadliest, largest, and most destructive fire in state history, killing at least 29 people and consuming 111,000 acres. In its trail of ash stand the smoldering ruins of Paradise, California, a city of 26,000 people until this week.

“Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation,” said California Fire Captain Scott McLean.

core_breaking_nowThese violent wildfires could cost the state, insurers and homeowners at least $19 billion in damages. Furthermore, it may take the firefighters another 5 days to extinguish the fires. A smaller wildfire, dubbed “University Fire” was quickly contained and extinguished.

Strong winds and lack of humidity were crucial factors for the speed with which the fire blaze spread so quickly. In their path, thousands of cars were damaged. Fire insurance (both for car and homeowners) was already a problem for car owners and homeowners, but things got worse with these wildfires. So, it becomes natural for car owners to know what will happen to their cars and if they will ever recover their investments. Only comprehensive car insurance provides coverage if the car is damaged or totaled by natural events, such as wildfire.

 Comprehensive car insurance is designed to cover damage caused by factors not related to a collision. That means it will cover damage inflicted by events like a wildfire. Since California is no stranger to wildfires and the dry season has started to last longer, up to Decembers and January, insurers are known to charge more for this policy.

The only way in which the car owners can compensate for high premiums is by asking for high deductibles. For comprehensive coverage, the recommended deductible is $500. In California is recommended to aim for at least $1000.

Another important thing to remember is that the insurance company will use the Actual Cash Value to determine how much money will be reimbursed. The Actual Cash Value is the value of the car in the moment when it was damaged. Insurance companies use statistic data to determine value depreciation. Also, insurers will reimburse policyholders for custom equipment and accessories only if they were declared before the fire and, if required, a special coverage was purchased.