Posted: Mar 26, 2011 5:09 PM by Matt Stafford
Updated: Mar 28, 2011 9:35 AM
Fires have burned thousands of acres this week, and getting dangerously close to homes along the Front Range.
A local insurance agent says two-thirds of Colorado homes are underinsured. So are you prepared if your house is in the line of fire?
David Reed got a good look at a fire burning close to his home in Peyton earlier this month.
"You could actually watch the fire rolling, so it was getting up there around six to eight feet," says Reed.
Reed doesn't like fires getting that close, and he keeps his insurance policy up-to-date to be safe.
"We had a phone call from a gentleman where the fire was actually at his driveway," says Robert Edgin, an agent for American National Insurance in Colorado Springs.
The man was calling his insurance agent to make sure everything was in order for his policy.
"His family was making a run for it," Edgin says. He adds that his office has gotten several calls this week with people checking up on their policy. Edgin says that's a call you don't want to make when it's too late.
"Unfortunately about 68 percent of all the homes in Colorado are actually underinsured," Edgin explains. "They've got about 20 percent too little insurance so their only going to have about 80 percent of what they need to rebuild their home." Property values fluctuate which can change a policy, and sometimes not everything inside has been accounted for.
"Maybe they've added an addition, or done updates to the home, where they've not updated their policy," says Edgin. He suggests checking in with your agent once a year for a coverage check up.
David Reed has had to make changes to his policy; he knows how important it is to keep up with. Reed even does extra stuff around his house, like keeping his grass short, just for a little extra insurance.
"Two-foot-tall grass is going to burn a whole lot more and create more heat for the flame than four-inch," says Reed, but he doesn't want to test it.
Along with checking your insurance yearly, you should also do things to keep yourself safe. You should make an evacuation plan with your family and have a meeting place. Edgin suggests keeping a getaway kit in your car or garage of things you would need if you had to leave your home in a hurry. Also, he says it's a good idea to make copies of important documents, or get a fire-proof safe.