Ultimately, policyholders are responsible for obtaining the appropriate coverage for their property. (Photo: Shutterstock)

When I was a young adjuster in 1971, a massive fire burned from the 405 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley across the hillsides until it reached the Pacific Ocean in Malibu.

Hundreds of homes and commercial buildings were destroyed down to bare dirt. As an adjuster, settlement with the insureds was easy because the cost to repair exceeded the policy limits by thousands of dollars. I would simply write a policy limits check to the insured and leave knowing he had inadequate funds to rebuild.

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