Insurance Firms Offer Help to North Bay Residents Affected by Wildfires - NBC Bay Area
North Bay Wildfires

North Bay Wildfires

Insurance Firms Offer Help to North Bay Residents Affected by Wildfires

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    Insurance Firms Offer Help to North Bay Residents Affected by Wildfires
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    The sun sets through smoke over the remains of homes in the Fountaingrove neighborhood on October 13, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California. Twenty four people have died in wildfires that have burned tens of thousands of acres and destroyed over 3,500 homes and businesses in several Northern California counties. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

    Representatives of two insurance firms are helping members with claims from the North Bay wildfires, Sonoma County officials are working to reduce property tax bills and federal loans are now available to Sonoma and Napa County residents, business owners and private nonprofits affected by the fires.

    Nationwide has sent representatives to the Finley Community Center in Santa Rosa and State Farm has sent representatives to a number of evacuation centers.

    Nationwide reps today were at the Finley Community Center at 2060 W. College Ave. At the center, representatives helped customers with claims.

    The claims process can also be started by calling (800) 421-3535 or visiting Nationwide's website.

    State Farm mobile claims vehicles began arriving in fire areas today.

    State Farm officials suggest property owners start the claims process as soon as possible.

    The process can be started by getting in touch with one's agent, calling (800) SFCLAIM, submitting a claim through the company's mobile app Pocket Agent.

    State Farm officials suggest property owners keep receipts for living expenses since the expenses may be reimbursable after a deductible is met.

    Property tax bills are being reduced for Sonoma County residents with a certain amount of damage, county officials said.

    The reductions will be made without the need for property owners to file paperwork with the clerk-recorder-assessor, Clerk-Recorder-Assessor William Rousseau said in a statement.

    Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector Erick Roeser said in a statement that he hopes to have the adjusted tax bills out by Dec. 11.

    Affected taxpayers will have a 30-day deferral period after they receive a bill.

    Taxpayers with impound accounts should get in touch with their lender to tell them about the change in the status of their property, Roeser said.

    For more information on calamity-damaged properties, residents can check this website.

    Because of the disaster, staff from the clerk's and the tax collector's office may not be available to answer questions about the tax reductions.

    County officials will be sending out more information about calamity-damaged properties.

    Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are now available for Sonoma and Napa county residents, business owners private nonprofits to repair or replace certain types of damaged or destroyed property such as real estate and inventory.

    To be considered for the assistance, applicants must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.