SonomaCountyRecovers: Official recovery information for Sonoma County fires

Recovery Information and Resource Packet Mailed to Fire Survivors

Posted on October 12, 2018


The City of Santa Rosa and County of Sonoma recently mailed recovery and resource information to fire survivors. The following materials were included in the mailing:

  • Preparing your property for the rainy season
  • Creating defensible fire-scaping
  • Frequently asked questions regarding the debris removal insurance reimbursement process (sent only to residents who participated in the Government-Sponsored Debris Removal Program)
  • A letter about the debris removal insurance reimbursement process (sent only to residents who participated in the Government-Sponsored Debris Removal Program)

Residents who participated in the Government-Sponsored Debris Removal Program received an update about the debris removal insurance reimbursement process within their packet. We’ve received some inquiries regarding this update and want to clarify the process currently set up to receive debris removal insurance reimbursement funds. The current program set up to receive debris removal insurance reimbursement funds is NOT mandatory. The process was created to accommodate fire survivors who have previously expressed interest in transferring the debris removal insurance funds they’ve received from insurers to the County at this time. We apologize if the letter created any confusion.

Below are a few reminders about the debris removal insurance reimbursement process if you participated in the Government-Sponsored Debris Removal Program:

  • We do not anticipate receiving or mailing statements for debris removal work for at least another 6 months.
  • Some residential properties may require private debris removal for burnt trees, outbuildings under 120 square feet, or other areas not included in the government-sponsored debris removal program.
    • Insurance claim funds specified for debris removal can be used to cover those costs. It is important that you save your receipts for any private debris removal costs.
    • You will need to provide your receipts to the County for verification of the private removal work at a later date.
  • The County of Sonoma will only collect reimbursement for the Government-Sponsored Debris Removal program if there are any debris removal funds left unspent in your insurance coverage after you have completed the private removal.

California Department of Insurance resources
Homeowners’ (HO) insurance policies cover costs for debris removal in a few different ways. You should consult your specific insurance policy to determine how debris removal benefits are paid. An Insurance Fact Sheet from the California Department of Insurance explains different coverages and the two typical kinds of Homeowners’ Insurance. The department’s Top Tips for Wildfire Claimants also offers advice to those who lost their homes in the fires.  Additionally, the Debris Removal Insurance Fact Sheet may be helpful as well.

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