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How Much is My Dixie Fire Claim Worth? Part 1: Homeowner’s Dwelling and Real Property

August 29, 2021 Posted In

A Dixie Fire survivor can make a claim against PG&E for many different aspects of their loss.  These hypotheticals discuss a homeowner’s real property claim only. They demonstrate that a claimant who desires to rebuild his property is generally entitled to substantially more “new money” (money in addition to insurance) than one who does not.

Scenario Number 1:  Client has no desire to rebuild; claims “diminution in value.”

Property’s Pre-fire value: $300,000

Property’s Post-fire value ($10,000)

Total Diminution in Value suffered: $290,000

Less Insurance proceeds received for dwelling: ($250,000)

Net Diminution in value Claim against PG&E: $40,000

Statutory attorneys’ fees: $10,000

Total value of claim: $50,000

Attorneys fees on recovery: ($12,500)

Total “New Money to Client” for Real Property Loss: $37,500

Scenario Number 2:  Client desires to rebuild; claims costs of restoring property to its pre-fire condition.

Property’s pre-fire value: $300,000

Estimated cost to rebuild: $450,000

Estimated cost to replace trees and landscaping: $250,000

Total costs of restoration: $700,000

Less insurance paid for dwelling: ($250,000)

Less extended insurance paid for rebuilding: ($60,000)

Less insurance paid for tree damage: ($10,000)

Net property restoration Claim: $380,000

Statutory attorneys’ fees: $95,000

Total value of claim: $475,000

Attorneys’ fees on recovery: ($118,750)

Total “New Money” to Client for Real Property Loss: $356,250

Why the difference?

As you can see, a homeowner who desires to rebuild is entitled to quite a bit more “new money” ($356,250) than a homeowner who does not ($37,500).  That’s because:

  • Rebuilding is expensive
  • Replacing trees is very expensive
  • Insurance seldom covers the full cost of rebuilding
  • Insurance seldom covers the full cost of replacing trees

The above is for purposes of illustration only. And again, it discusses real property loss only.  Other damages that a homeowner may claim, such as compensation for loss of use of the property while it is being rebuilt and for the additional costs associated with temporary housing, are discussed here.

Call to discuss your situation.  There’s never a charge to talk. Give us a ballpark estimate of what your home was worth before the fire, its square footage, and a rough idea of the size and number of trees that were on your property.  Also let us know a bit about your insurance coverage.