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Wildfire Notice—Important Claims Information

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those being affected by the current wildfires in your area. We want to provide you with some valuable information in the event you are affected in any way. If you need to file a claim, you can also reach out directly to the insurance company on your policy:

  • List of contact numbers for our agency personnel by department. Please know all of our staff are happy to assist you.
  • List of carrier 24 hour claims department phone numbers to contact your carrier directly to file a claim.
  • Claims checklist which includes important information to keep in mind during the claims process.

Smoke Taint Damage and Claims Information

We hope everyone is safe and out of harm’s way. Our hearts go out to those that have been in the path of the most recent fires, and we hope and pray that fire crews get the fires under control soon. Over the past several years, we have gathered lots of experience with smoke taint and fire damage, and we are here to help you through the claim process. Placing your crop carrier on notice does not negatively impact your premiums. If you think you may have smoke taint damage, now is the time to contact us and place your carrier on notice. Do not harvest your grapes until after you have contacted your crop carrier and receive their approval to do so; after the crop has been harvested it is too late to file a claim.

We hope you find the following information useful:

  • You must meet the claim reporting requirement (Carrier notification within 72 hours of discovery when damage occurs and 15 days prior to harvest for carrier inspection). You are required to enlist the service of an independent and certified insurance carrier-approved laboratory to conduct a test of the crop before the crop is harvested.
  • Testing must be for the two most common chemical markers of smoke, Guaiacol (G) and 4-Methylguaiacol (4MG). Elevated levels for both chemicals must be present, as noted above.
  • Carrier approved labs require a minimum random sample of 200 berries.
  • Appraisal must be completed prior to destroying any crop or putting that crop to a different use.
  • Production from different optional units must be on separate scale tickets in addition to marketing records (No commingling).
  • Samples must be taken in the field, before the crop has been harvested. Each variety/unit must be tested independently. AFTER HARVEST, IT’S TOO LATE.
  • Lower revenue must be due to smoke taint and not other market conditions.
  • Do not commingle fruit or juice with another grower’s production.
  • Quality Adjustments (smoke taint): Mature, marketable grape production that is damaged by insured causes is eligible for quality adjustment if such damaged production has a value of less than 75% of the average market price of undamaged grapes of the same or similar variety.

Please don’t hesitate to call us should you have any questions or concerns.

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