Lara Urges Companies to Cover Extended ALE
To assist Californians displaced by the current and recent wildfires throughout the state, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a notice to all California property and casualty insurance companies urging them to cover additional living expenses (ALE) for those policyholders who remain under mandatory evacuation, or whose homes are otherwise inaccessible or uninhabitable due to the wildfires. “When people are told to get out of harm’s way by first responders, they should be able to access insurance benefits, not be forced to pay out of pocket for necessary emergency costs when they are still under evacuation orders or without water or power,” said Lara. “While I have sponsored legislation to address this issue, people need help now to recover from these devastating fires.”
The Department of Insurance has received numerous complaints from policyholders who are hearing from insurance companies that their ALE benefits are being terminated after the initial two weeks unless the insurance company can verify, or the policyholder can prove, that the policyholder’s property suffered damage due to the fires and is still currently uninhabitable, even though mandatory evacuation orders are still in effect in some areas. The Department has also received several related consumer complaints of ALE benefits being discontinued when their homes are uninhabitable due to lost power or water service as a result of the wildfires.