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Rogue Valley Rebuilds 173

Fire insurance claims - Know your rights

Insurance companies make money by collecting premiums, not by paying claims, so it's important to know your rights and pay attention to detail when filing a claim. 

  • In a declared disaster, government may be able to help with expenses not covered by insurance. Therefore, every affected resident should apply for FEMA assistance, even if they have private insurance.
  • To ensure you get all the insurance money you’re entitled to, read this important guidance from United Policyholders, a non-profit consumer advocate. Top tip:  Keep ALL your receipts and documentation.
  • You should not be rushed 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 pressured by your insurance company, or if you feel you're not getting fair treatment, contact the Oregon Insurance Commissioner's Advocacy Team at 888-877-4894 or email DFR.InsuranceHelp@oregon.gov.
  • Insurance policies typically cover the structure (unless you’re a renter), the contents of the structure, and excess expenses while you’re displaced. But each of these has a payout limit which may not cover all your disaster-related losses and expenses. Learn more about these coverage types in English or Spanish.
  • Some policies have specific coverage for debris removal, others do not, or have a maximum payout that isn't enough to cover the cost.  Government is helping to fill that gap, so be sure to take advantage of the State-led clean-up program.

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