DENVER, CO – A bill to protect Coloradans with wildfire insurance by updating standards to ensure consumers’ claims are paid in a timely manner passed the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee tonight by a vote of 10-2. HB22-1111 is a proactive approach to ensure homeowners displaced by wildfires receive a fair and comprehensive payout for lost property after deeply traumatizing/catastrophic disasters. “We’re working hard to update the law so future victims of catastrophic wildfire events like the East Troublesome Fire and the Marshall Fire receive the insurance payouts they’re owed,” said Rep. Judy Amabile D-Boulder. “This bill will make it easier for victims of fires to file and receive claims for lost property and living expenses after a disaster. Families displaced by wildfires are spending too much time waiting for next steps from insurance companies. This bill will streamline the process to get them on the road to recovery faster.” If passed, HB22-1111 would update a 2013 law standardizing what insurers will pay out in claims for lost property and additional living expenses after a declared wildfire disaster. More specifically, it would require insurers to pay disaster victims 65 percent of the value of the contents of their home up front without requiring the victim to do a comprehensive inventory of their personal property.
Current law only guarantees 30 percent upfront, creating a burdensome process for many people to claim what they are owed after a deeply traumatizing event. The bill also puts in place several provisions that would streamline the insurance claims process for disaster victims. Due to climate change and dryer seasons, Coloradans are at risk for future wildfires. The Insurance Coverage For Loss Declared Fire Disaster would boost the number of insurance providers required to pay by 50 percent so displaced wildfire victims receive more for their destroyed homes and its contents faster.