Sixty percent of the homes lost in the Fourmile Canyon Fire were under insured by at least $160,000. In the last three years the intensity of the wildfires in Colorado has progressively grown and currently 360 homes have been lost in the Black Forest Fire.
As a homeowner, it is solely YOUR responsibility to make sure your home is adequately insured. Government and Charitable Aid programs will not cover the cost of rebuilding a destroyed home. Oral promises by insurance reps that you’re fully covered are useless if you can’t prove them later.
What you can do:
1.) Calculate the square footage of your home. In the mountains above Boulder, you will need at least $225/square foot to replace the average home. If your home has custom finishes and fancy appliances, the price only goes up from here.
2.) Boulder County has some of the toughest building codes in the country. Make sure you have allowed at least 25% in your policy to account for these upgrades.
3.) Take the time to create an inventory of your personal property. If you lose everything you own in a fire, I promise it will be very difficult to remember how many pairs of ski socks you owned. Your insurer gets to keep your money after a loss if you can’t remember or describe everything that was destroyed.
4.) Make sure your policy covers the replacement cost of the contents of your home. You do not want to be given Actual Cash Value (ACV) as this is a depreciated amount that represents what the property is actually worth at the time of loss.
5.) Make sure your policy allows for at least two years of Additional Living Expenses (ALE). Additional living expenses cover your rent and other expenses while you are working your way through the insurance process and rebuilding a new home.
For more information, visit: http://www.intermountainalliance.org/resources/insurance/
Next Class: June 26th at 6:30pm in the Coal Creek Canyon Community Room
Questions? Contact Amy Hardy, Mountain Resource Coordinator for Foothills United Way, at firstname.lastname@example.org