Property owners and property managers need to face the reality if they have a property that is smoke damaged from wildfires. Following my recent post, A Safety Video Every Homeowner In a Wildfire Area Should Watch, two articles in Restoration and Remediation Magazine should be read by property owners, property managers, restoration contractors, and property insurance adjusters. Continue Reading Dioxins Are Extremely Dangerous and Cannot Be Overlooked Following Wildfires

All homeowners in wildfire areas should carefully view the video, 5 on the Frontline with Dawn Bolstad-Johnson. As part of their training, all property insurance adjusters should do so as well.

I have bought the paperback and eBook versions of Dawn Bolstad-Johnson’s book, Exposed Carcinogenic Exposures on the Fireground and 11 Work Practices to Minimize the Risk. While it is an important read for firefighters, it is just as important to those wanting to understand the safety concerns about exposures to structures that have been burnt or subject to smoke from a fire.

I also came across a video, Your PPE is for Every. Single. Fire, reminding firefighters about the need to wear safety equipment even during training exercises because of the hazards posed by smoke and ash.

We have written about these concerns in Marshall Wildfire Policyholders Continue to Experience Difficulty with Insurance Companies to Evaluate Full Extent of Damage from Smoke, Ash, and Soot, and Wildfire Smoke and Ash Cleanup Disputes. The residue of smoke, soot, and ash can kill you in the long term. I do not mean to scare people, but the scientific data cannot be ignored. We suggest that structures with smoke, soot, and ash debris be thoroughly examined by a qualified industrial hygienist. This is something all property insurance adjusters should do as part of an investigation.

Thought For The Day

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.
—Buddha

The California wildfires have caused damage to many vineyards. We have been involved in a number of coverage and disputed value cases arising from these unfortunate incidents. Smoke can cause damage to a vineyard’s facilities and its crop and wine products. Finished wines can have a perceptible “smoke taint,” which makes wine unmarketable except for salvage value. Continue Reading Vineyard Losses From Wildfires — A Smoky Wine Is Very Different Than Smoke Damaged Wine

Patrick Moffett was at the First Party Claims Conference in Marina Del Rey this week. Another speaker, Matt Blumkin, mentioned Moffett’s update in 2020 of a paper, Wildfire Impact Assessments Completed by an Industrial Hygienist and Other Qualified Experts. Those handling wildfire insurance claims should read and study. Continue Reading Wildfire Insurance Claims—Considerations From An Expert

The Colorado Division of Insurance has regulators that are standing up for consumers to encourage full and prompt payment of losses. The Division issued a comprehensive news release yesterday which delves into the problems policyholders are facing following wildfires that have destroyed many homes and businesses over the past two years. Many recurrent problems complained of by our Colorado wildfire clients are addressed in the news release which we are copying in full as part of this post: Continue Reading Colorado Wildfire Claims Problems? Colorado Division of Insurance Is Congratulated for Getting to the Most Commons Wildfire Claims Concerns

Nearly two months after the Marshall Wildfire, news stories and articles continue to express the frustrations and difficulties Marshall Wildfire policyholders are experiencing with partial losses from smoke, ash, and soot where insurers will not fully agree to help investigate and evaluate the extent of damage. Colorado Division of Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway has held several town hall meetings where Marshall Wildfire policyholders continue to echo frustrations of smoke, ash, and soot damage to their homes and personal property. Continue Reading Marshall Wildfire Policyholders Continue to Experience Difficulty with Insurance Companies to Evaluate Full Extent of Damage from Smoke, Ash, and Soot

Partial losses from smoke, ash, and soot are some of the most complex and challenging claims facing policyholders when insurers will not fully agree to help investigate and evaluate the extent of damage. All you have to do is read the transcript from a recent virtual town hall meeting in Colorado to get a flavor for what is going on when policyholders are faced with dealing with their insurance adjusters. This post is a follow-up to Soot, Ash, and Char Claims Are Hot Topic At Colorado Insurance Commission Virtual Town Hall Meeting. Continue Reading Partial Fire Losses Involving Smoke, Ash, and Soot From Wildfires—A Transcript of the Colorado Town Hall Meeting

The recent Colorado wildfires have highlighted a countrywide claims issue for residential homeowners having total losses—most are far underinsured. Insurance agent commentator Bill Wilson recently published a blog on the topic: Another Cautionary Tale of Underinsurance. While there are myriad reasons for this epidemic of homes being underinsured to replacement value, Wilson’s post noted in part:

One would think that, among the parties involved in the insurance process – insureds, insurer, and if an agent was involved, the agent – someone would have questioned the large gap between purchase price and homeowners Coverage A limit.

The insurer is identified in the story and my first thought was that the insurer needs to reimagine their ‘You only pay for what you need’ sales pitch. Maybe, ‘We only pay for what you buy’ or ‘You only pay for what you mistakenly bought.’

Continue Reading The Wildfire Underinsurance Gap