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The Washington Office of Insurance Commissioner published a letter addressed to all property insurance companies adjusting property fire losses that resulted from the Gray and Oregon Road Fires in August 2023. The fires burned over 20,000 acres and destroyed over 400 homes in Washington and Oregon. The letter serves to request insurers to give certain graces in adjusting claims and settlements to policyholders who are going through a difficult situation. 

Unlike a normal house fire, which may only partially damage a house, a wildfire will typically destroy the entire residence and all of its contents. Because of this, insureds will not be able to sort through the aftermath to find evidence of personal property loss. Insurers will typically want an itemized list of personal property losses, which can easily amount to over 5,000 items, which would be difficult for an insured following a wildfire loss. The Office of the Insurance Commissioner requests that insurers give grace on this requirement and allow for grouping of like items in listing. For example, listing something like “ten shirts,” instead of requiring the individual size and make for each shirt. 

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