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What Landlords and Tenants Can Do To Recover From Damage Caused By California Wildfires

Nearly two dozen wildfires have swept northern California since August, “including the two complex fires in the San Francisco Bay Area that have burned more than 750,000 acres and forced hundreds of thousands of evacuations,” as reported by USA Today. Thousands of homes have been lost, and tens of thousands of homeowners and tenants remain under mandatory evacuation. For those whose homes were lost, these events are not only heartbreaking, but also tricky to navigate.

For affected homeowners, tenants, and landlords, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do next. What will your insurance cover? Where can you stay while you sort the damage out? How will you find the money for another immediate living situation?

The Bay Area is home to Naborly, and we’re here to help. To start with one piece of good news, California is one of the most supportive states when it comes to providing support for those affected by natural disasters. Read on for a breakdown of resources, things you should know, and what you can do as a landlord, homeowner, and tenant to recover from the damage.


Start by checking out online resources from the California Department of Insurance.

While many of these insurance resources are targeted towards homeowners, they apply equally to landlords and tenants in their individual landlord and renter’s insurance policies. Many landlord insurance companies may also provide reimbursement for evacuations of a landlord’s tenants, or even immediate payment of lost income and rent caused by the wildfires.

We recommend starting with the evacuation checklist, which provides tips and immediate action to take if you’re forced to evacuate, such as taking a photo inventory of your possessions and uploading your insurance policy to the cloud, if time permits.

Next, check out the top ten tips for wildfire claimants, to cross crucial tasks off your list such as tracking your expenses while affected by the wildfires and obtaining contractor quotes for rebuilding your property. Additional recommendations provided here include documenting all conversations with your insurance provider and evaluating whether you’ll need an attorney to assist with your claim.

If you need more information for your claim, the California Department of Insurance provides a comprehensive Property Claims Guide that digs into what to do after a loss, what may be covered in your policy, a request for assistance form, what to do if you don’t agree with the settlement offer, and more.

For those trying to get in touch with a particular insurance company, here’s a list of residential insurance company contact phone numbers.


Know what questions yo ask to figure out what you might be eligible for. 

Under California state regulation, many insurance policies will grant landlords and homeowners a lump sum of cash immediately after experiencing loss. Many insurance companies may provide an immediate lump sum of 25% or higher of your insurance coverage in the event of a total loss due to a wildfire. Landlords can also claim the amount they would typically earn in rent from their insurance if their property was damaged or lost due to a wildfire.

California provides more insurance support than many other states and is generally considered pro-consumer for wildfires in particular. The state is constantly working on new emergency regulations to ensure insurance companies provide adequate relief for those affected.

If you’re in need of some extra hope, check out these success stories from the California Department of Insurance. Many people have rebuilt their homes and lives after experiencing damage and loss from past wildfires, and thank the state’s strict policies for helping them out when they most needed it.

We’re in this together, and we’re here to help. If you need more help navigating these heartbreaking events, you can reach our support team by emailing support@naborly.com.


The Naborly Team

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