Marshall Fire: Insurance Claims Are Homeowners’ Next Business

The executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Association said it’s best if these Coloradans begin the claims process soon.

SUPERIOR, Colorado – Stan Wells watched on television a hell lighting up Boulder County, torching hundreds of homes and bringing back some of his life’s worst memories.

“It’s painful. These poor people, they’re going to go through what we’ve been through,” Wells said.

On October 21, 2020, Wells’ Grand Lake home was completely destroyed by the East Troublesome fire, the second largest wildfire in Colorado history.

“Oh, it’s like losing a part of your life. Speaking of which, I get emotional, ”he said.

Wells said seeing the charred remains of his beloved home was tough enough, but having to fight insurance companies to get the money to rebuild – a painful process that Wells says continues. months later – significantly worsened the situation.

“They’re just going to wear you out,” Wells said, referring to insurance companies. “They don’t want to pay, they’re going to drop out as long as they can.”

Wells said he is now speaking out to try to help people in Boulder County who have just lost their homes. His advice: be persistent.

“You have to sue them, you have to be very aggressive with the insurance company,” Wells said.

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Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Association, said she is confident insurance companies will devote enough resources to Boulder County to make the claims process as smooth as possible. But, given the volume of claims that will be filed, she encourages people to start the process early and try to be as patient as possible.

“We know it’s a heartbreaking process, but it’s something to start as early as possible when you’re away from home,” Walker said. “Insurance companies see this as a catastrophic event. They are devoting additional resources to it. They bring out their national disaster teams.

Walker said the mandatory evacuation that was ordered in Thursday’s fires will help people filing claims quickly get money in their pockets for various living expenses, like accommodation and meals.

“It’s something that they can count on and then hang on to all the receipts because if you file a claim it’s refundable,” Walker said.

Walker added that people whose homes were damaged but not destroyed should schedule a meeting with an insurance adjuster as soon as possible.

“They will tell you about the coverage you have to repair and replace your building, the coverage you have to replace all of your things, debris removal will be one of the main things when you get back on that property,” we even have concerns about hazardous materials, ”Walker said.

Walker warned homeowners to be aware of possible insurance scams and to only deal with their contracted insurance companies. She said most standard home insurance covers forest fire-related disasters. And, while she acknowledges these are extremely difficult times for people who have lost their homes, she urged people to try to be patient while their insurance companies process their claims, warning that workers and supply chain issues will likely impact the reconstruction process.

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