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HomeHome InsuranceWashington Commissioner Asks Insurers to Extend Additional Living Expenses for Wildfire Victims

Washington Commissioner Asks Insurers to Extend Additional Living Expenses for Wildfire Victims

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is asking insurers to extend the additional living expenses benefit for wildfire victims who are nearing their 12-month limit on that coverage.

Many policies that include additional living expenses coverage, which provides funds to pay for temporary housing while a primary residence is being rebuilt, have a clause that ends this coverage after 12 months.

Kreidler also requested information from insurers on losses associated with the Gray and Oregon Road fires through a data call announced Monday.

Mike Kreidler

More than 350 Washington residences were damaged or destroyed in the Spokane-area fires, which began on Aug. 18, 2023. The coverages Kreidler referenced would end in August if insurance companies take no action.

“Delays in rebuilding residences are completely out of the policyholders’ control and losing this critical benefit, which is currently paying for their temporary housing, would be financially devastating,” Kreidler stated. “Most insureds do not have the financial means to pay a mortgage and temporary housing costs simultaneously.”

The data call requires insurers with claims from the fires to complete two worksheets. The first, for all coverage types, includes cumulative losses based on lines of insurance. The second, for residential property losses only, includes specific data about the property, the claim, and if the company has non-renewed the policy since the fire.

The plan is for information collected in the data call to be aggregated to provide a picture of the wildfire losses impacting Washington’s residents. The first report is due July 31 through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ website.

Natural Disasters

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