As the 12-month mark approached after the Camp Fire, United Policyholders (UP) took a survey of survivors. Of the households that completed the survey, 67% reported that they had reached a settlement on the dwelling portion of their claim. Only 30% reported having sufficient insurance to cover the cost of damage to their home. About a third plan to rebuild or remain in the area, with the remainder either not rebuilding or uncertain about whether they would or not.
The percentage who have reached a settlement on the dwelling portion is considerably higher than from previous fires at 12 months. The 2017 North Bay wildfire-impacted households reported that 53% had settled their dwelling portion at 12 months.
Camp Fire survivors reported that 100% of their contents benefits had been paid without an itemized contents loss inventory 39% of the time. This is an increase from the 24% of North Bay Fire survivors who received 100% of their contents benefits without an itemized inventory. An additional 27% of the Camp Fire survivors received partial waivers of the itemized inventory.
60% of the survey respondents reported being underinsured with an average underinsurance of $163,000. Seven percent reported being underinsured by $400,000 or more.
As with the aftermath of many disasters, homeowners discover that they are underinsured. While 30% reported enough insurance to cover the cost of damage to their home, 60% of the survey respondents reported being underinsured with an average underinsurance of $163,000. Seven percent reported being underinsured by $400,000 or more.
Compared with the 12-month survey after the North Bay Fires where 62% planned to rebuild, only 31% of the Camp Fire survivors plan to rebuild or to remain in the area. UP noted that the amount of damage to the roads and infrastructure in the Camp/Paradise, CA region plays a part in this decision. In Paradise 90% of the town’s structures were destroyed in the fire.
This survey and previous UP surveys can be found on their Roadmap to Preparedness Surveys page.
United Policyholders is a non-profit organization whose mission is to be a trustworthy and useful information resource and an effective voice for consumers of all types of insurance in all 50 states. They provide tools and resources for solving insurance problems—information, workshops, meetings, videos, handbooks, etc. They promote disaster preparedness and insurance literacy and advances pro-consumer laws and public policy related to insurance matters.