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  2005-01-06-Bonnie Dumanis-John Garamendi 

Harrison Weblog

2005 blog


Keeping up with Jewish officeholders

Bonnie Dumanis, John Garamendi announce 
settlement in San Diego County
  fire insurance case
,  Jan. 6, 2005

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, at a news conference in the rural community of Crest, announced on Thursday, Jan. 5, that four property owners whose homes were destroyed in the 2003 San Diego County wildfires will receive restitution from insurance adjusters who misled them about their services.

They said the four property owners would share in a $128,707.92 fine against Kapilow & Sons of Los Angeles, which was agreed to in an out of court settlement in which the firm did not admit to any wrongdoing.  Of that amount, $72,757.92 will be divided among the four property owners and $55,950 will go for investigation costs and penalties.

"When the fires raged through the back country (of San Diego County), our office promised the victims would not be re-victimized," Dumanis said.  "Today we are here to fulfill that promise."

Garamendi said an investigation had indicated that Kapilow & Sons unlawfully had hired unlicensed public adjustors, who then misled the four families into signing contracts. Adjustors said they would take 10 percent of any "new" money, the insured received.  Instead, they took 10 percent of the entire insurance settlements.

"The survivors of the firestorms have looked to public adjusters for help and guidance in the wake of the disaster," Garamendi said.  "Instead, these families were allegedly duped into signing bad contracts that cost them tens of thousands of dollars, money they needed to rebuild their lives.  This is wrong, and I will continue my efforts to fight this scam so others won't be victimized."

People who had similar problems with public adjusters may carry the California Department of Insurance's hotline at (800) 927-4357.        Donald H. Harrison