In a recent town hall, Colorado's insurance commissioner urged homeowners affected by December's wildfire in the Boulder area to assess the nature of their losses, saying much of the fire damage could be hard to determine.
Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway warned Wednesday that some of the partial losses on which homeowners might want to seek coverage might not be immediately apparent, compared to obvious damage like the smell of smoke and ash infiltration.
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There could also be considerations unique to the Colorado fires, according to Carrie Maylor DiCanio, a policyholder representative and the managing shareholder of Anderson Kill PC's Denver office. She said policyholders should review their policies to ensure that any time limitations for the repair or replacement of property are met.
"One challenge policyholders are likely to face with respect to the Boulder Fires is the impact of existing supply chain shortages and increased building costs caused by COVID-19," Maylor DiCanio told Law360. "It is possible that what was thought to be the replacement cost value for a building six months ago is no longer accurate, and it may cost the policyholder more to rebuild."
She suggested some policies that allow for up to 25% higher limits if an initial limit is reached might not even be sufficient to replace a property under current conditions.
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