SALEM, Ore. — KDRV Oregon state officials and a list of insurance companies have reached an agreement that would allow more time for Oregonians to rebuild after the devastating September fires, the Oregon Dept. of Consumer and Business Services announced on Tuesday.
The spate of wildfires that grew beyond control during a historic wind event in early September ultimately destroyed more than 4,000 homes throughout Oregon. More than a thousand people are still receiving shelter through the American Red Cross.
Though clean-up of hazardous waste on destroyed properties began back in October, the larger project of removing ash and debris has yet to begin.
“The ability to rebuild homes after a catastrophic event is often delayed by the need to effectively address safety hazards in the area and the increased demand on construction resources,” said Andrew Stolfi, insurance commissioner and director of DCBS. “We are glad to see these companies agree to provide time for wildfire victims to effectively work through the recovery process.”
Many insurance policies limit the time that a person has to rebuild their home after it is damaged or destroyed, and usually require that homes be rebuilt at the address listed on the policy.
According to DCBS, the agreement extends rebuilding timelines out to two years from the date of the loss and allows Oregonians to rebuild their homes at a different location.
“This agreement does not extend the amount of additional living expense benefits available under a policy, nor does it alter any other terms of the policy contract,” DCBS said.
The agreement accomplishes three things, state officials said — alleviating the demand for construction resources in wildfire damaged areas, allows victims the ability to recover faster, and helps control the cost of construction by extending the timeline.
As of Tuesday, the following insurance companies and certain subsidiaries have signed onto the agreement:
- Allied Insurance Company of America
- American Family Insurance Company
- Austin Mutual Insurance Company
- Crestbrook Insurance Company
- CSAA General Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer
- Encompass Insurance
- Grange Insurance Association
- Harleysville Insurance Company
- Homesite Insurance Company of the Midwest
- Liberty Mutual
- National Casualty Company Inc.
- Nationwide Insurance Company of America
- NGM Insurance Company
- North Light Specialty
- Oregon Mutual Insurance Company
- PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company
- Scottsdale Indemnity Company
- Sublimity Insurance Company
- United Heritage Property & Casualty Company
- Western Protectors Insurance