LAFAYETTE, Colo. (CBS4) — Insurance will be the next major hurdle for many victims of the Marshall Fire now on the road to recovery.
Hundreds of those impacted joined the state as well as Gov. Jared Polis for a virtual town hall with insurance experts. They say although it may seem early, now is the time to start filing claims.
“They are going to be able to help the weight not feel so heavy that said there is still some uncertainty and a process to work out,” one fire victim told CBS4.
Jimmel, who didn’t share his last name, was among those visiting the disaster assistance center. In addition to providing immediate resources, that’s where fire victims will find the insurance village.
Officials with the state Division of Insurance said the center is a good place to start. In their townhall they assured those with concerns they’ll do everything they can to help the process run smoothly
“I can promise you we are going to be watching incredibly closely that these insurance companies do everything they can to take care of you,” Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway said during the meeting.
Tom Henderson, Shareholder at Burg Simpson law firm, has represented countless fire victims who have run into issues with claims. He says there are five things’ policyholders need to do in the first days after a major event to help.
File a claim, take photos of everything get a copy and review your policy, ask for an advance in payment, and document all communication.
“What do lawyers always say? ‘Get it in writing,’” he said.
Both the Division of Insurance and Henderson say the biggest challenge will be about coverage.
“Number one is do you have enough insurance? And the unfortunate reality is that, particularly during these COVID times, where there have been interruptions in the supply chain, the cost of construction has skyrocketed. The unfortunate reality is that some folks are going to end up learning that they probably don’t have enough insurance to rebuild, so the quicker, they can figure that out, the better,” Henderson said.
For those without insurance coverage, the commissioner is directing those victims to FEMA for help. He says they may also be able to fill the gap for those underinsured.
Watch the town hall in its entirety.