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Camp Fire forces Merced Property and Casualty Company to fold

FILE - As the Camp Fire burns nearby, a scorched car rests by gas pumps near Pulga, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

ATWATER, Calif. (FOX26) -- Merced Property and Casualty Company is the first insurance company to fold after last month's "Camp Fire" in Butte County.

However that doesn't mean policyholders are out of luck. The company has been overwhelmed by claims from Paradise and surrounding areas.

Merced Property which is based in Atwater believes it will need to pay out $64,000,000 in claims but its assets only total $23,000,000.

The California Insurance Commissioner has placed the company in liquidation. That's good news for homeowners.

Their claims qualify for coverage from the California Insurance Guarantee Association. CIGA was created by state law to protect policyholders in the event

an insurance company goes belly up. But CIGA has a maximum on benefits. If a homeowner's claim exceeds CIGA's limits, the excess amount would seek the assets

of Merced Property and Casualty. All Merced insurance policies are required by statute to be cancelled within 30 days of the liquidation date. People insured with Merced need to

work with an insurance broker to replace their coverage immediately. If there's a problem it's possible to get basic fire insurance coverage through the California Fair Plan Association.

If you need additional information on the Merced liquidation here is the link: www.caclo.org/Merced

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