Lightner Creek Fire: Tips about wildfires and insurance

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 29, 2017

Consumer Alert: Division of Insurance shares tips about wildfire and insurance

For those who could be impacted by Lightner Creek Fire

DENVER – As the Lightner Creek Fire continues in the Durango area, the Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), is sharing insurance tips for people who are or could be impacted by the fire. Some of these are important now, others will be important in the coming days.

• Know your policy – If you don’t have a copy of your policy, contact your agent or company and request it.
• Keep your receipts – If you are evacuated or displaced for a period of time, be sure to keep copies of all restaurant, hotel and other living expenses incurred because you cannot go home.
• Do you have a home inventory? Remember, only an owner knows what’s been lost as a result of a fire. If you don’t have one, know that even after a fire, creating an inventory, room by room, can help you to remember what has been lost. Here is a downloadable, paper inventory to get you started.
• Don’t delay – Once the danger has passed, if your property has been damaged, don’t wait to start the claim process. Call your insurance company or agent as soon as you can. Contact the DOI if you need the contact information for your company or agent.
• Document / mitigate the damage – If the damage to your home is extensive, start taking photos of the property and documenting what was lost. If the damage is repairable, mitigate further damage by placing tarps on roofs or boarding up windows.
• Verify public adjusters – In the aftermath of a disaster like a wildfire, public adjusters may contact you if you have suffered damage to your home. You are not required to hire a public adjuster, but if you do, make sure he or she is licensed and reputable – check references. If possible, hire a Colorado-based adjuster. The DOI licenses public adjusters and consumers can call the Division to verify a license. Public adjusters work on behalf of a consumer and often charge a percentage of the claim amount. The fee is agreed upon in the contract between the public adjuster and the consumer. This cost is not included in the claim amount paid by the insurer.
• Contact the DOI with concerns and questions – While claims need to be filed with the insurance companies, the DOI can assist consumers with questions about insurance and the claims process. Call the Division at 303-894-7490 or 1-800-930-3745 (outside of the Denver metro area) or email us – DORA_Insurance@state.co.us.

The Colorado Division of Insurance regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues.  Visit www.dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745.

DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit www.dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855/toll free 1-800-886-7675.

Media Contact:

Vincent Plymell
Communications Manager
P 303-894-2261 C 303-910-9614
vincent.plymell@state.co.us

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