Many Sonoma County property owners utilized the Government-Sponsored Debris Removal Programs (Programs) to clear debris after the devastating 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires and the 2020 LNU and Glass fires. The Programs were administered and paid for by CalOES and FEMA. The County is obligated to ensure there is no duplication of benefits and make reasonable efforts to collect available private insurance proceeds from participating property owners.
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 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 Policy, Grants and Special Projects division of the County Administrator’s office at (707) 565-1222, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The County is committed to work with individual property owners and insurance companies to help with this step in the debris collection process.
2017 Fires: The County has invoiced insurance companies and property owners and is collecting identified debris removal funds from insurance companies.
2020 Fires: After the State’s debris removal mission is complete, the County will receive the costs and prepare and send an invoice to the insurance carriers identified in the Right of Entry form, and the property owner. If you receive tree/debris removal insurance proceeds prior to receiving an invoice from the County, you may choose one of the following two options:
- Submit your insurance proceeds to the County to be held in an escrow account until such time as the County issues an invoice; if you incurred private tree/debris removal expenses for additional removal work, you may submit paperwork, including receipts, to offset any amounts you owe to the State; or
- Hold onto your insurance proceeds until you receive an invoice from the County. If you choose this option, please do not spend any of the funds specified for tree/debris removal for other rebuilding activities except for necessary additional tree/debris removal.