BUSINESS INSURANCE AND WILDFIRE
While business insurance covers businesses for fire, often it’s not adequate to cover the entire cost of everything that has been lost. Buildings, equipment, inventory, lost sales, and much more all need to be calculated into the losses. Many small and medium-sized businesses don’t have enough insurance to cover their entire losses. Also, most insurance policies don’t include coverage for the loss of income that results.
WILDFIRES ARE NOT “NATURAL DISASTERS”
As business owners, we always seek to find the cause of the problem and remedy it. In the case of California wildfires, one clear culprit emerges repeatedly — power utilities causing wildfires.
For decades, the utilities have made a lot of profits and have spread those profits around to shareholders. To maximize profits, many of these companies will only do the maintenance that’s necessary to keep the lights on, but will not do the proactive maintenance and upgrades needed to prevent sparking, arcing, and fires.
While dry conditions and high winds can cause a wildfire to grow exponentially, the cause of the fire is the spark that started everything. If it was a camper with an out-of-control campfire or a careless welder who sparked the grass, that person would be held accountable.
Attorneys, like the Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott, work to keep these powerful and wealthy utilities accountable by seeking damages in court for wildfire victims. Naturally, the investor-owned utilities (IOUs) fight these claims and, in fact, are seeking to have legislation put in place to protect them from lawsuits and potential bankruptcy.
WHAT CAN A BUSINESS OWNER DO AFTER A WILDFIRE?
Of course, the most important thing is to get to safety and begin to put your life back together.
Then call a law firm, like the Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott, to join a legal action that will hold the utility accountable for the fire and get some compensation for the loss of everything you built.
Business losses will be in the billions from the 2018 fire season, compounding the damage done in previous years. It is possible for business owners to recoup some of their losses from the people whose neglect started the fires in the first place.