Colorado has suffered major wildfire catastrophes. There are not enough contractors to handle the repairs. As a result, Colorado issued new regulations for insurers regarding the handling of these claims.
The most important part of the Colorado bulletin is the following:
Section 5 Rules
In the event of a catastrophic disaster, an insurer shall waive any waiting periods related to ALE benefits for those policyholders whose residence requires repair or replacement or if the policyholder permanently relocates.
In the event of a catastrophic disaster, an insurer shall act in good faith and shall consider any adverse circumstances beyond the insured’s control that may require maintaining and extending policyholder benefits beyond those afforded by the timelines in the underlying insurance policy. In determining whether certain benefits should be extended, insurers shall take into account all circumstances affecting the claim, including, but not limited to, labor and material shortages and other circumstances affecting the claim but not directly caused by the catastrophic disaster. The Division is specifically concerned with ALE benefits and time limits on repair or replacement for recoverable depreciation coverage. If the insured has acted in good faith and with reasonable diligence, the insurers shall also act in good faith to maintain or toll policy time limits where necessary to protect its policyholders.
In the event of a catastrophic disaster, where an insurer causes an unreasonable delay in the settlement of a claim, the insurer shall:
1. Toll the ALE time limits for the duration of the time required to repair or replace the damaged property.
2. Toll the policy time limits for the policyholder to complete the repair or replacement of the damaged part of the property necessary for issuance of the replacement cost value payment.
In the event of a catastrophic disaster, if the insurer has caused delays in providing the initial estimate of damages and/or the actual cash value payment, the insurer shall act in good faith and toll the time period that the policyholder can recover ALE benefits and collect recoverable depreciation by a time period equivalent to the delayed action by the insurer.
In the event of a catastrophic disaster, failure to toll policy time limits for ALE or recoverable depreciation (RCV) benefits beyond policy time period limits, after causing an unreasonable delay in the settlement of a claim, may constitute an unfair settlement claim practice.
Our experience is that most insurers are providing extensions without this bulletin. But not all insurers are doing so. This bulletin and the new regulation are needed.
Thought For The Day
Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.