(Ventura, Ca) Some homeowners affected by the Hill and Woolsey fires are discovering that they may be underinsured for their losses. Help is available.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides housing assistance for people who have lost their homes as the result of a presidentially-declared disaster. FEMA assistance cannot duplicate assistance that is provided through an insurance company, but it may provide assistance for items not covered by insurance.
Anyone whose home was affected by the fires is encouraged to apply for assistance at: www.disasterassistance.gov.
Some fire victims, including underinsured homeowners, may also require a separate application to the Small Business Administration. Homeowners can apply for SBA assistance at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.
A denial letter from FEMA does not mean there is no federal funding available. It may mean that FEMA requires additional information or documentation. Officials also clarified that a denial letter from FEMA is not a denial from the SBA. Underinsured homeowners are encouraged to apply to both
Ventura County residents who discover they are underinsured for their fire loss are encouraged to:
- Apply for assistance from both FEMA and the SBA.
- Register for assistance with 2-1-1 (http://www.211ventura.org/home/)or simply dial 2-1-1. 211 is the central local registration entity for fire victims seeking assistance from local non-profit organizations, including potential assistance for underinsured homeowners.
- Attend the United Policyholders seminar on Saturday, December 15, from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.at the Grant R. Brimhall Library in Thousand Oaks, 1401 E. Janss Road.
United Policyholders (www.uphelp.org)is a non-profit advocacy group for consumers needing help with navigating complex claims with their insurer, such as claims for a home destroyed in afire.
FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers are located at:
- Janss Marketplace, 173 N. Moorpark Rd., Suite A, Thousand Oaks
- Conrad Hilton Foundation, 30440 Agoura Rd., Agoura Hills
- Malibu Civic Center, 23525Civic Center Way, Malibu
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