A little over a month ago, disaster struck Northern California when wildfires raged across the Sonoma and Napa Valleys. People lost their lives and numerous more lost livelihoods when over 14,700 homes were destroyed in the blaze. However, the people of Napa and Sonoma are resilient and ready to rebuild. In spite of their strength, their march toward full restoration will be a long and difficult journey.
Shortage of Contractors Significantly Slows Progress
While some affected by the wildfires may have the financial means to rebuild now, waiting lists are starting to form as contractors are few and far between in the Napa area. Keith Woods, CEO of the North Coast Builders Exchange, is confident that the homes will be rebuilt in time. However, for homeowners looking to rebuild immediately the question remains: “how much time?”
It is doubtful that Napa and Sonoma homeowners will be willing to have contractors rebuild an entirely new home from scratch. These families want a piece of their old life back—to have their homes resemble what they used to be and to return their lives to normalcy through familiarity. These families will be asking contractors to give them the homes they used to have, but building a home to exact specifications is not an easy feat. Think about your home, about each and every room that you call yours. Imagine now that you are drafting building plans of your home, trying to envision your new kitchen so that it’s identical to your old one. The frustration you would feel when your living room isn’t exactly how it used to be. The sorrow you have when the kids’ rooms look “off.” You now have some sense of what these families are going through as they try to recover their lives.
The request is understandable, but building homes to replicate specific rooms will take a long time. Even the best craftsmen cannot “get inside” the minds of homeowners, and so the rebuilding process will be difficult because of the sheer emotion that will be going into these buildings. These emotions are sensible, they are necessary, and they are even beautiful, but the progress of rebuilding will be slow.
How Much Time Will Rebuilding Take?
Tim Murphy, CEO of the Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange, laments that it could be well over a decade before all the communities are restored entirely. While the Napa and Sonoma housing markets were close to record highs before the wildfires, housing development teams in the counties were few and far between. Contractors and workers made a mass exodus out of Northern California a few years ago when the housing market crashed. Once the market returned, not all the contractors came back with it. This resulted in contractor associations in Napa and Sonoma being booked for housing developments even before the wildfires hit. Now with the devastation brought by the wildfires, the previous demand for contractors has turned extreme. An individual contractor has gone on record, stating that he has 14 clients at this time. Each of these clients resembles a home that needs to be rebuilt for a family who lost everything.
Why Insurance Is Everything
As some families are beginning to rebuild (albeit slowly) others are still waiting for their insurance claims to come before they can even think about it. Many families are unable to put in their requests for a new home because they have yet to get an estimate from their insurance company. A family cannot ask a contractor to do work when they are completely in the dark about their financial situation.
At this crucial time, insurance claims will be the difference between families rebuilding in Northern California and moving to a new state. This press for insurance money is intensified by the high costs of building materials. Supply and demand is a timeless truth in any market, and at this time demand for building materials is extremely high in California. This means that building costs will increase drastically due to the increased demand of raw materials for new homes.
Northern California families cannot wait around any longer. Paid insurance claims are an immediate necessity for thousands in California. However, insurance companies know of the immediacy, and they will take advantage of these families. When a family living out of a hotel is entitled to $400,000, but are offered an immediate $200,000 for their claim, this lowball offer is often taken out of necessity. However, do not believe the lie that there “just isn’t enough to go around.” You faithfully paid this company for years on end, and you should never buy into the propaganda that you need to “sacrifice” so that other families can get paid too. Insurance companies are not the ones in need. You and your family are. Filing a lawsuit against a company can often result in faster payment and higher payouts, so turn to legal help immediately if you need immediate relief.
If you need help fighting against a company to get the compensation you rightfully deserve, call our fire insurance claim attorneys straightaway. When insurers hear Arnold & Itkin, they know they are dealing with attorneys who get justice for their clients. So put your future in our hands, and we will do everything we can to ensure its safety.
You can longer wait on your insurance claim to be paid. No more sitting on the sidelines. It is time for action. If you are ready to do something about your claim, call (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation.