DENVER, CO – A bill to protect Coloradans with wildfire insurance by updating standards to ensure consumers’ claims are paid in a timely manner today advanced in the House. 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.
“After the fires and devastation our communities have experienced, it is clear that we need to update our laws so that future victims of catastrophic fires receive the insurance payouts they’re owed,” said Rep. Judy Amabile, D-Boulder. “By passing this bill, victims of fires will face fewer barriers to file and receive their claims for lost property and living expenses. This streamlined process will help Coloradans get on the road to recovery faster.”
HB22-1111, sponsored by Representative Amabile, would update a 2013 law by 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.
Following the devastation from the Marshall Fire and pressure from those in support of this legislation, many insurers have already agreed to increase the amount of money that will be paid out to fire victims, streamline the inventory process and cover the costs of habitability testing for smoke damage. This bill will ensure all policyholders will receive the benefits they are owed.