Fire personal Loss inventory list detail and time extension Joseph Gilmete asked 8 months ago
Fire personal Loss inventory list detail and time extension

We lost our home and property in the Caldor Fire (8/17/21). As it turns out, we lost more more than what we had coverage for.

My State Farm-issued spreadsheet is asking for make, model and replacement value of all items. There is no way we a family of six can do that. What is the norm for this?

I see that there is a request sample letter to send to the insurance to ask to be paid the policy limit without completing the loss list entirely. This would be so much easier. Would this option impact our ability to receive tax benefits or deductions?

I want to confirm what I read in my State Farm paperwork. In the fine print from State Farm that because this fire was declared  a State and Federal Emergency, I have 36 months to file for personal loss. (Insurance code section §2051.5 (b)(1)and (2)). Can I ask for an extension for my personal loss reporting and settlement?


Joe in CA

1 Answers
Stacy Tucker Stacy Tucker Expert answered 8 months ago

Joe, I am so sorry you have to deal with this on top of the loss of your home. Yes, you can ask State Farm to simply pay policy limits rather than requiring you to list everything you believe you owned. Sometimes insurers agree, sometimes they do not. But you can definitely ask. And yes, you are correct that because of the emergency nature of the wildfire that destroyed your home, they are required to extend your time to file all proofs of loss. If they do agree to allow you simply obtain policy limits, it should not affect any taxation issues of which I am aware as an insurance attorney — however, you may want to consult with a tax professional to be certain.

Also, please know that as of July 1, 2021, all insurers have to offer a payment under the personal property coverage of at least 30% of the policy limit for personal property, up to $250,000, without an inventory. See Cal. Ins. Code 10103.7. Also, you are not required to use the insurer’s form, and they have to accept listing similar items in bulk (for example, 13 pairs of underwear, not each pair listed individually). See CA. Ins. Code 2061(a)(2)(3).