SACRAMENTO — Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced legislation today to streamline residential insurance claims for victims of disasters such as wildfires.
“When someone has lost their home or suffered serious damage in a disaster, they shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get coverage they are entitled to,” Sen. Dodd said. “Insurance companies must act swiftly to advance living expenses for temporary housing and other costs and they shouldn’t bury home owners in exhaustive inventory forms. People who pay their premiums deserve to be made whole without unnecessary delay.”
Senate Bill 872, sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, expands the definition of additional living expenses that must be paid to home owners for losses incurred in a state of emergency. Upon submission of a claim, it requires an advance payment of no less than four months for costs such as housing, furniture rental and transportation. Also, it requires an advance payment of no less than 25 percent of a policy limit for lost contents without submission of an inventory form.
The bill, coauthored by Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, requires insurers to give home owners a 60-day grace period for payment of residential premiums after an emergency. Also, insurance companies will be barred from deducting the land value from payouts for those who build on new lots.
“When a disaster occurs, residents need immediate help, not red tape and unnecessary paperwork that adds to their problems,” Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said. “I am proud to sponsor this crucial legislation, enforcing actions that I have urged insurers to take after wildfires to protect policyholders. This proposal will help ensure residents have all the resources and time available to them to help ease the financial and emotional toll of a disaster.”
The violent winds, rains and storm damage from hurricanes can devastate communities and cause billions of dollars worth of destruction. The losses from hurricanes this year alone have surpassed that from almost any other natural disaster in years. The risk to your home and possessions can be enormous and you really should be considering insurance cover for hurricane damage if you live in any area that is exposed to the risk of hurricane. As well as insurance cover however, there are other steps you can be taking to prepare for, and minimise the damage to your property and risk to your family that hurricanes pose.
Since the Atlantic hurricane season in June and continues through till the end of November, there is a significant of the year during which you should be in some way for hurricane threats. Some of the preparations below will be required by insurance policies, others will not but are still helpful to you and your family. Some of them may even be able to bring down your insurance policy price as the insurance company recognises that you are safer than you otherwise would be and are therefore less likely to be making a claim.
First of all you should be familiar with the terms of your insurance policy and any disaster preparedness and response plans they have. These will help you in the case that disaster does strike or you find yourself in need of making a claim.
If you think you may need to evacuate your area, you should contact the appropriate authorities before h and to know what those requirements will be. You should have a plan formulated in advance and if there are shelters nearby you should know where they are and how to get to them.
Keep supplies such as food, water, gasoline, portable radios and batteries stored somewhere safe so they will be available to you in the emergency. Several flashlights with extra batteries should be included. Copies of important identification and insurance documentation would also be useful in certain situations to speed up applications in the event that wide spread devastation occurs. Medical supplies such as aspirin and aspirin free painkillers, antacid, b andages, gauze and disinfectant are also useful.
While insurance is a very important step you should be taking to protect your possessions and family in the event of disaster, there are many other steps you can take to prepare for the situation also.
There are not many people who would admit to enjoying a visit to the dentist. The trip often leads to considerable pain or at least discomfort. You are never really sure what is going to be involved and how much treatment you will need. You don’t know how much it is going to cost, unless you have dental insurance, in which case you don’t need to worry about this. But generally speaking, most people do not enjoy visiting their dentist.
In many ways we’re much like children. While people tend to get over most of their childhood fears as they get older, dental treatment is one that seems to persist into adulthood. Partly we have our selves to blame. Many people put off visiting the dentist for years and only go once they are in considerable pain. They skip check ups if they have no complaints and postpone the inevitable visit for as long as is humanly possible.
This means that by the time we do visit the dentist, which is a visit that is long overdue, we need so much work done and it costs so much money that it just serves to put us off going back again for as long as is possible. This is what causes the entire problem.
Many of the worst aspects about visiting the dentist could be avoided by going back for regular checkups and keeping on top of problems. Dentists advise that they can prevent many common problems from ever occurring if they catch them quickly enough and what could become costly and painful surgery can be dealt with simply and all the hassle avoided. But this requires that they see your teeth fairly regularly so that they can avoid problems before they occur.
Most dentists offer you the chance to book your next check up months in advance. This means that when you show up for one, you book your next check up while you are at the dentist’s surgery. This means that you will never forget to make an appointment. Then the dentist will also send you a reminder when the appointment approaches so that you will not forget to attend. What could be simpler?
Regular check ups can help you to avoid expensive and painful surgery and many dental insurance plans will cover check ups as st andard in the policy. Therefore, get insurance and start seeing your dentist frequently. Don’t put off the visit until its too late or you really will have something to fear from your dentist.
This Mercury Moment was recounted by an African-American woman who returned to her home in Cheviot Hills after work to find a broken water pipe in her home. Already convinced of Mercury’s superior auto insurance coverage, she was happy to discover the company’s Homeowner’s Insurance Policy to be just as responsive and reliable. Individuals who hold both home and auto coverage through Mercury can save up to 15 percent in premium costs. Find out more and get a quote here.
[youtube]http://youtu.be/jLeQD-FzEdw[/youtube]While it’s reassuring to know that insurance agents attend Travelers’ Claim University and the facility’s Auto Lab to best learn how to evaluate automobile claims, it’s a college of which I hope to never to require the services of an alumnus. Travelers representative Julio Martinez, however, provides valuable information regarding the facility and the automobile insurance it helps claims representatives best administer.
Claims representatives learn how to evaluate what different types of damage require repair in the Auto Lab. But learning what fixes are necessary to repair you vehicle is only part of the curriculum. Additional options to a straight policy for repair or replacement only are discussed, including towing your car to a repair shop, providing you with a rental car during your car’s repair and — depending upon the auto’s manufacturer — assistance in locating your car if stolen.
Newer car insurance options that have become available recently are also explained. Some optional policies will replace your car up to a five-year old model with a br and new model if your vehicle is totaled in an accident. Newer loan gap coverage pays off the balance of your car loan, even if this amount exceeds the car’s value. Car insurance options can also pay for accident-related expenses such as legal expenses if sued and medical expenses for injured passengers.
Aside from your driving history and the cost of your car, many factors influence the cost of automobile insurance. The cost of repair and replacement parts have increased in price, oil-derived product costs have risen by 23 percent, sheet metal by 12 percent, rubber by 32 percent in addition to increased healthcare costs. You can help control costs by driving safely and taking advantage of offered advantages, such as the Safe Driver Advantage, the Hybrid Car Advantage, a low mileage commute (such as that from Montecito Country Club to Coast Village), a low mileage use, the Good Student Discount, satisfactory completion of driver training and safety courses and bundled or multi-policy discounts. Get a quote here.