FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Carole Walker, Executive Director, RMIIA (303) 790-0216 / Mobile: 303-601-8437
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March 20, 2017 - Boulder area residents are breathing a sigh of relief today as evacuation and pre-evacuation orders were lifted for more than 1,000 residents, but Colorado's hot, dry, windy conditions pose a serious threat that sounds an alarm: be insurance ready for an early wildfire season.
"Homeowners found themselves in the path of dangerous wildfires this week," says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. "Unfortunately, most people don't think about how they will escape and what insurance protection they have to rebuild and replace their belongings until something unthinkable occurs."
Colorado is already experiencing an extremely active wildfire season, so people should review what their insurance covers, policy dollar limits and protection for personal belongings. Most insurance policies also cover additional living expenses if you are under a mandatory evacuation and unable to live in your house or apartment because of a fire or other covered peril. Most policies will reimburse you the difference between your additional living expenses and your normal living expenses, but policies have set limits on the amount they will pay and may be subject to a deductible. Car insurance covers damaged vehicles only if you purchase optional comprehensive coverage.
DO AN ANNUAL INSURANCE CHECK-UP
- Understanding what is and isn't covered in your homeowners insurance policy can mean the difference of being able to rebuild your home and replace your personal belongings. Homeowners need to do annual insurance policy "check-ups" to make sure they keep up with local building costs and have adjusted their coverage to include home remodeling and additions.
- If you don't have replacement coverage, consider spending a few extra dollars for coverage that pays for the cost of replacing the damaged property without deduction for depreciation. Ask about endorsements for sewer back-up and building code upgrades.
- If your car is damaged or destroyed by fire, hail or flooding you will need optional comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy to pay to repair and/or replace your vehicle.
CREATE A HOME INVENTORY
- Make a home inventory that includes lists, pictures or a videotape of the contents of your home or apartment. After all, would you be able to remember all the possessions you've accumulated over the years if they were destroyed by a tornado or fire? Having an up-to-date home inventory will help get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.
For more consumer information on insurance topics, logon to www.rmiia.org
Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association is a non-profit consumer information organization. Affiliated with the Insurance Information Institute, RMIIA has been serving consumers and the media since 1952.