Blog

With the two year anniversary coming up for Station Fire survivors, we would like to remind them of the two year deadline to replace property that was extended to them due to California laws regarding State Declared Disasters.

According to California Insurance Code § 2051.5, when the insurance company must only pay the policyholder the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your property when the claim is made, the policyholder has two years (instead of one) to claim the actual cost to replace the item (often referred to as Replacement Cost Value or RCV) once the item has been replaced.

For example, say you had a couch that you estimated would cost $2,000 to replace, but the insurance company only gave you $1,250 as the ACV. Once you actually replaced the couch, you found the actual RCV was $2,145.35 and you have a receipt for the item at that cost. If you have a replacement cost policy, the $895.35 difference can be recovered from the insurance company if your claim was not closed by legal negotiations and you have not yet reached the limits for the coverage in question (which in the example is the personal property coverage). Send copies of your receipts to the insurance company documenting the difference and request a check for the held back depreciation.

You should be aware that the deadline isn’t two years from the date of the loss, but the law specifically states two years “from the date that the first payment toward the actual cash value is made.” Now would be the time to get out copies of the first checks they paid for each coverage so you can properly calculate your deadline.

If there are items that will still need to claim after the two year deadline, you can write a letter requesting an extension. The law states, “Nothing in this section shall prohibit the insurer from allowing the insured additional time to collect the full replacement cost.”

Sample Letter

Thank you for assisting us in returning to normal following our loss.

We are making claim for full replacement cost value under the [personal property, dwelling and other structures, if available] coverage of our policy within two years of our loss. Our loss occurred [DATE] and your first check was dated [DATE].

We intend to completely repair, rebuild or replace our lost personal property and dwelling. Please extend these policy requirements an additional year. Please let us know, in writing, within 15 calendar days.

 

Important new insurance regulations were approved and effective, June 27, 2011, that, if they survive an appeal from the insurance industry, can help all homeowners from the threat of underinsurance after a catastrophic loss. Since 99 out of 100 fires are not natural disaster (wildfire) fires, these regulations should go a long way to help individual families who have had significant fire damage losses as well as those who lose their home during a disaster.

To see the new insurance regulations, visit:
http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2011/upload/nr087NEWHOregs1.pdf

To see what a major insurance company litigation firm has to say about the new laws, visit:
http://www.insurancelitigationregulatorylaw.com/tags/everett-v-state-farm-general-i/

UNDERSTAND HOW TAXES
MAY APPLY TO YOUR
INSURANCE AND SDG&E RECOVERIES
RE: 2007 WILDFIRES

In a federally declared disaster, such as the 2007 San Diego Wildfires, special federal and state tax law provisions provide some tax relief for fire victims:

  • PERSONAL PROPERTY RECOVERY EXEMPT FROM TAX
  • AN ADDITIONAL $250,000 PER PERSON CAPITAL GAINS EXCLUSION
       IRS § 121 HOMEOWNER’S EXCLUSION
       MARRIED COUPLE FILING JOINTLY--$500,000
       SINGLE HOMEOWNER--$250,000
  • DISASTER VICTIMS HAVE 4 YEARS FROM THE END OF THE YEAR IN WHICH THEY REALIZED GAIN TO PURCHASE OR REBUILD THEIR HOUSE. IRS § 1033(h)(1)(B)
  • IF STILL INVOLVED IN A LAWSUIT AT THE END OF FOUR YEARS, IRS WILL GRANT AN EXTENSION IF ONE IS REQUESTED TIMELY
  • REASONABLE TAX FILING EXTENSIONS ALLOWED

NOT SO GOOD NEWS, BELOW ARE TAXED AS ORDINARY INCOME AT HIGHEST RATE:

  • EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
  • PUNITIVE DAMAGES
  • LOST WAGES
  • LIVING EXPENSE SETTLEMENTS IN EXCESS OF ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSES INCURRED
    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION INCLUDED HERE

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tax information is provided by Ms. Anna Maria Galdieri, CPA.  Ms. Galdieri has been actively involved in disaster tax issues and reformation since the 1991 Oakland fire.  She is nationally known for her disaster tax expertise and consumer advocacy.  While general tax information is provided free on the CARe website, her private consultations are subject to her hourly fee of $350.  She recommends emailing your tax questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

Read More:
http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog.asp

---

IF YOU, OR ANYONE YOU KNOW, DID NOT FILE A SDG&E CLAIM
THEY CAN—RIGHT NOW!

Time to file a claim was extended due to the class action
which was recently dismissed by the court.

• LET YOUR FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS, RELATIVES KNOW TO FILE!
• EXTENDED BECAUSE CLASS ACTION WAS DENIED
• NEED TO ACT NOW BECAUSE SDG&E WILL APPEAL DECISION

PLEASE NOTE:
• RULING EXCLUDES EMOTIONAL DISTRESS CLAIMS

We have recent court filings that show how the current cases are being handled.

Please call CARe at 888-216-8264 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the latest information or for copies of court filings.

****

PLEASE EMAIL QUESTIONS TO This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Inspirational Quotes

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Plato

Testimonials

Thanks for information. We've learned more than we ever wanted to know!

Slide Fire Survivor, 2007