Lessons Learned From the NorCal Fires: Is Your Home Underinsured?

The wildfires have passed, and many people are picking up after the devastation of losing their homes, loved ones, and so much more that meant everything to them. With the grief still fresh in their minds, many Californians are now asking the newest question: “How can I deal with the insurance companies?” Unfortunately, this spells out disaster and a new set of grief for many.


About 60% of homes are underinsured by about 20%, which can lead to negative results when a horrific event like a home fire takes place. Let’s put that into perspective: Those in California who had a home worth $500,000 will now be short $100,000 when it comes to rebuilding after a disaster. In many cases, this is due to the fact that people make improvements to their house, such as remodeling and expanding, but never update their policies afterwards. If the insurance company doesn’t know about these changes, your insurance could be vastly decreased.


So what does this mean for those who are vastly underinsured and had their homes destroyed by the fire? These homeowners are facing the reality to this day that they are going to have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket as claims are processed. This is going to be a laborious task over the next few months. An attorney actually estimated that policyholders could be out more than $1 million in costs, with many of them applying pressure to the insurance companies to get results. They believe they should be compensated fully for their claims of damages. As of right now, throughout just the region of Sonoma County, claims have already hit $9 billion and are expected to rise every day.


How to Tell if Your Home is Underinsured


Insuring your home is one of the best ways to protect your home from damages, namely those that happen due to natural disasters like fires and floods. If your home is underinsured and you suffer damages and have to make a claim, you will not receive enough money to cover the damages of rebuilding. Another thing that many people don’t consider is that their house will usually rise in value over the years. They may have originally built a house for $150,000 but today its value is worth $300,000. This could turn into a major issue when someone is trying to receive enough damages to pay for the cost of their home after it has been damaged, and isn’t given enough due to being underinsured.


For so many Californians who have suffered significant losses when it comes to their homes and property, they live in hopes of finding out that the costs will be covered during this devastating time. If you have you lost major amounts of property due to the wildfires and need assistance during this difficult time contact a local, established attorney with a good reputation avoid the many out-of-state lawyers trying to make a buck.