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Getting insurance in Colorado expected to cost more after costly wildfire damage

Marshall Fire: $1 Billion impact on the insurance industry expected to raise rates
Getting insurance in Colorado expected to cost more after costly wildfire damage
Posted at 3:57 PM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 09:47:01-05

COLORADO SPRINGS  — As costly damage estimates continue to add up for those impacted by the Marshall Fire insurance experts say we should be paying attention because these costs will impact consumers across the state.

Insuring a home and possibly even your car is going to cost more here in Colorado, according to the experts. Some insurance companies won't even do business in our state anymore because of the wildfire and weather destruction we've been known to experience.

It's important to remember, by law insurance companies have to justify their premiums, but experts say current economic conditions, along with the impact of storms and wildfires like the Marshall Fire will lead to justified price hikes.

Trey Whitlock has spent 15 years helping his neighbors with insurance issues in the Pikes Peak Region. He says people need to pay attention to what all this damage in Boulder County means for us here at home.

"If we're at a thousand homes and that's a pretty affluent area. If each house is $500,000, plus you've got $500,000 or so in personal property in the house, debris removal, all that kind of stuff, I mean you're looking at $1 Billion easily towards the insurance industry. Which, inevitably is going to raise the rates," said Whitlock.

If any cars were burned-up or damaged by the fire, he says he expects an impact on statewide car insurance rates as well.

"It hit so fast you don't know if people were able to get home and get their car out and get away from the fire. So I imagine we're going to see quite a few vehicle claims as well," said Whitlock.

According to the National Association of Home Builders the cost of home-building materials and labor rose in 2021. The increase in building costs means many of the people who lost homes in the fire could be underinsured. This means they won't have enough insurance coverage to completely rebuild.

It's why the experts say you'll want to revisit your insurance policies often.

"See what's out there and see if somebody can save you some money. Every agent appreciates loyalty, but at the same time we're all having to tighten the belt a little bit," said Whitlock.

When it comes to buying insurance it should be a fair and transparent process. so if you have any questions, or even complaints you should be reaching out to state investigators.

You can contact the insurance commissioner's office at 303-894-7490 or DORA_Insurance@state.co.us with those questions or complaints.

Also, if you need support locally in El Paso County you can contact El Paso County Assessor Steve Schleiker at (719) 520 6600 or by visiting assessor.elpasoco.com