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Many homeowners are going to encounter the issue of their insurance check to rebuild not coming even close to being able to fully cover the costs to build a new house that’s the same as their previous one that burned down. With the current supply chain shortages and rising inflation of most goods and materials, the costs to build homes are much greater than they used to be. Now stack on the costs of rent and temporary housing that will need to be paid for as well while demolition and new construction are being performed and the bill gets much higher.
Let’s also not forget all of the personal belongings, family heirlooms, valuables and the life work of some of these people has just disappeared and most of it probably isn’t covered by the insurance policies unless the homeowner made sure to include all of these things in their policy from the start. Most people opt for the cheaper policy so they can save money every month as the likelihood of a fire burning down your house is not all that great. However, with the lack of rainfall and snow this year along with higher temperatures and strong winds, that all can change in an instant, which has now become a reality for hundreds of unsuspecting homeowners in Boulder, CO.
This is where it is extremely important to make sure you work with an experienced fire loss litigator if your insurance company is trying to pay you the bare minimum or is delaying your claim for extended periods of time. The costs to rebuild and replace everything is likely going to cost much more than the insurance companies are willing to pay out so don’t let your financial well being be destroyed by bad faith insurance practices. At Rector Stuzynski LLC, we have plenty of experience dealing with fire loss litigation and have previously helped victims of the Black Forest fires in El Paso County, CO get compensation, so feel free to reach out to us if you suspect foul play from your insurance.
Insurance companies do their best to increase their bottom line at every turn, which typically means paying out less on claims or just outright denying valid claims. So why would we expect them to offer us full coverage in every aspect of our insurance policies? We shouldn’t because it’s just too good to be true these days. Even when you thought you had all of your bases covered, the fine print will turn around and bite you in many cases. Making sure you had all valuables listed and their proper values calculated is not something everyone can figure out easily, so most homeowners end up getting much less than the true replacement cost value for their belongings.
Even our own attorney Terry Rector was caught short changed during the claim process of the Waldo Canyon fire that wiped out his home in 2012. He was quoted by CPR News saying ”As a homeowner, you have to prove your loss. You have to establish the values. You have to do almost everything.”
Under-insured is the word that nobody wants to hear when dealing with such a huge loss, as they already have so much to deal with when trying to rebuild to then find out they are underinsured is even more devastating. Many times with such a large loss, these underinsured values can be in the tens of thousands of dollars, which isn’t a reasonable amount to be able to cover on your own for most families. This is why you have to make sure your policy fully covers everything from the moment you acquire your insurance policy, because you never know when disaster will strike.
Each insurance policy is different and the payouts for belongings will be much different from one policy to the next, so be sure to check into your policy heavily and see where you stand if you were affected by the fires. Make sure you take a detailed list of all of your belongings, valuables and more, with their actual cost value to replace them at today’s prices. You will likely find that these belongings are more costly to buy now than they were when you first acquired them.
Don’t leave anything out, or you won’t get paid for them. Expecting everyone to remember every last item in their house after such a loss is an extraordinary ask, but it has to be done to the utmost accuracy for best results. Taking on the role of your own insurance adjuster to line item everything out is not an easy task for the inexperienced, so be sure to contact an adjuster and if things start to seem like they are going in the insurance companies favor, make sure you reach out to an attorney for a second opinion.
We serve clients injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.