FIRE DEBRIS CLEAN-UP COSTS
Household hazardous waste and debris removal can cost $75,000 or more for a single burned home site. The state of Oregon’s Debris Management Task Force is overseeing a coordinated effort by federal, state and local government agencies to address hazardous waste and debris removal, and to help pay for it. If you don't take advantage of this State-led cleanup program and choose to complete cleanup yourself, you may end up paying more for cleanup and have less to put toward rebuilding.
Residents have shared concerns that signing a Right of Entry for hazardous waste removal will allow the State to take money from property owners’ insurance that could go toward rebuilding their home. This is not true. Government will only seek reimbursement from insurance companies in cases where the policy has a benefit specifically earmarked for debris removal. No federal, state or local agency will recoup money from your insurance that would have otherwise gone toward rebuilding your home. Read the state's cleanup FAQ for a full explanation of how this will work.
Note: You should not be rushed or pressured during your insurance claim process. You have a right to see the full settlement evaluation, look at the bid, get comparable value information, and take your time. If you are feeling pressure from your insurance company to settle, talk to a consumer advocate by calling 888-877-4894 (toll-free).
BEWARE OF CONTRACTORS PROMISING QUICK CLEANUP
Unfortunately, disaster provides opportunity for those seeking to take advantage of vulnerable populations via scams and fraud. Be skeptical of anyone promising immediate cleanup and debris removal, and be wary of people who quote outrageous prices or demand payment upfront.
Research contractors, verify they have an active license and check their complaint history through the Construction Contractors Board at ccb.state.or.us/search. Never pay by wire transfer, gift card, cash, or by signing over an insurance check. And never make the final payment until the work is done.