Station Fire victims sue insurer over claim payment

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More than a thousand homeowners who sustained damage in the Station Fire sued Los Angeles-based Farmers Insurance today. They claim the company denied or underpaid claims that resulted from the fire.

The policyholders sued just before the first anniversary of the Station Fire. They claim property damage from smoke, ash and other substances related to the fire.

The homeowners say Farmers Insurance routinely lowballed Station Fire damage estimates and balked at paying legitimate claims when other insurers acted promptly. The lawsuit doesn’t specify how much money the policyholders seek, but their attorney says each one lost, on average, $25,000 to $50,000.

A spokesman for Farmers Insurance says the company hasn’t seen the lawsuit and won’t comment right away.

The Station Fire began last August 26 and continued into the fall. It burned 250 square miles of the Angeles National Forest, destroyed 89 homes and killed two Los Angeles County firefighters.