Santa Rosa, CA – September 25, 2019 – Many Sonoma County property owners utilized the Government-Sponsored Debris Removal Program (Program) to clear debris after the devastating Sonoma Complex Fires. The Program was administered and paid for by FEMA and CalOES. The County has received CalOES and FEMA’s costs associated with each property’s debris removal, and is obligated to ensure there is no duplication of benefits and make reasonable efforts to collect available private insurance proceeds from participating property owners. The County has invoiced insurance companies and provided the information to the property owners. The County has begun collecting insurance funds for debris removal on behalf of FEMA and CalOES.
“Clearing over 1.4 million tons of debris was the first herculean step we took towards helping our community rebuild from the fires,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman David Rabbitt. “As part of our commitment to expediting this clean up, we agreed to act as a pass-through agency to collect identified debris removal funds from insurance companies on behalf of CalOES and FEMA. Our County is prepared to work with individual property owners and insurance companies to help with this final step in the debris collection process.”
It is important to note that if insurance debris removal proceeds are less than the cost of debris removal, property owners are not responsible for the difference. Property owners may reduce the amount owed by submitting documentation for a range of additional private debris removal expenses and other circumstances related to rebuilding or buying a replacement home.
Since every insurance policy is unique, property owners are encouraged to contact their insurance company to determine what debris-related proceeds are available in their policy. Detailed information about the Debris Insurance Collection Process, is available at www.sonomacountyrecovers.org/debris-removal/.
Affected property owners who have questions can contact the Office of Recovery & Resiliency at (707) 565-1222, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.