Telegraph Fire Sparks Concern Among Policy Holders

July 30, 2008 9:07:55 PM PDT
Many fire victims haven't even had to call their insurance agents because claims adjusters are already on site, but many people not affected by the telegraph fire worry their premiums may spike.Distraught fire victims sat down with claims adjusters outside the Mariposa Elementary School evacuation center. Insurance companies set up mobile units to meet with their clients. Jim Klapthor of Allstate said "We try to make it as convenient as possible for the affected people."

Many people lost their homes and are now going through the lengthy process of learning what is covered and whether or not they can re-build. Disasters can result in higher insurance premiums for people far away from the affected area. Klapthor said "All we are here to do is to work on this particular problem and this wildfire here in mariposa. What comes out of it in the future is something I couldn't speak to, its supposition."

But many fear these fires will cause a spike in everyone's insurance policies. Vickie Fernandez-Williamson of State Farm said "Not necessarily." Williamson has been making regular trips to evacuation centers to meet with clients.

She said our insurance rates won't automatically rise because of payouts from the telegraph fire. Williamson added "We do the best we can to estimate what we're going to be paying out. It's not necessary to say that one incident like that is going to cause premiums to go up."

Insurance agents are trying to help fire victims get through a very difficult time while offering words of reassurance to the rest of us.

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