Insurance Companies Should Cover all damages resulting from Mudslides if Fire Was Cause
The recent mudslides in Santa Barbara County should not have happened, or would not have been so catastrophic, if not for the Thomas Fire which burned nearly 300,000 acres a few weeks before the mudslides.
Insurance companies should be covering all Californians for the damages that suffered to their homes and businesses as a result of the recent fires, rains and mudslides.
In fact, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today issued a formal notice to all property/casualty insurers reminding them of their duty to cover damages from the recent mudslide and debris flows if it is determined that the burning of hillsides and vegetation by the Thomas and other fires was the “efficient proximate cause” of the mudslides.
Jones put insurers on notice that both the California Insurance Code and case law have established the legal doctrine of “efficient proximate cause,” meaning if it’s shown the Thomas Fire, a covered peril, caused the subsequent mudslides then damage caused by those events should be covered under a property owner’s insurance policy.
“Californians have suffered greatly with all of the devastating losses from wildfires that struck the state in the last three months of 2017,” Jones said in a statement. “Preliminary indications are that the Thomas Fire burned vegetation which would otherwise have absorbed rainfall and held soils in place, which in turn resulted in the mudflows, mudslides, debris flows or landslides. If the evidence shows the Thomas Fire or another peril covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy was the efficient proximate cause of mudflow damage, I expect insurance companies to step up and cover these financial losses.”
All Californians with homeowners or business insurance that are located in areas of the recent fires, storms and mudslides, should have their claims for damages covered by their insurance companies as we agree with the California Insurance Commissioner that the fire is the efficient proximate cause of the damage.
If your insurance company has wrongfully delayed or denied your claim for damage to your home or business, call us now for a free consultation.
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