Wildfires have erupted across Colorado, forcing thousands of Coloradans to evacuate to safety from the Cameron Peak, CalWood, Lefthand Canyon, and East Troublesome Fires. Accordingly, the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) issued a news release to give insurance advice to those effected on evacuation, filing insurance claims, and financial preparedness. The consumer advisory provides practical insurance tips, insurance evacuation and claims advice, and guidance on returning home after the fire.

The news release provides practical tips like, if you do not already have it, get a copy of your insurance policy. Also, if you are displaced because of the wildfires, keep all receipts related to food, hotel, and other living expenses.

On Insurance Evacuation & Claims Advice, the release discusses topics such as the challenges in finding shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking reimbursement of expenses during displacement (aka alternative living expenses or “ALEs”), developing a pre-evacuation plan, and the importance of taking photographs or video recordings of your property and possessions if you can do so safely prior to evacuation.

From the news release:

For residents impacted by Colorado wildfires, it is critical to understand the role their insurance plays in evacuations and claims settlements,’ said Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Association. ‘Always put safety first, but COVID-19 health precautions can add another layer of concern about where to go, what to do and how claims are handled before, during and after a wildfire.’

On Returning Home After the Fire, the release discusses the importance of getting your insurance claim process as soon as possible. Whether your property was burned by the wildfires or impacted by smoke and soot damage, it is important to get the investigation underway as soon as safely possible.

While insurance claims must be made directly with your insurance carrier, the DOI has made itself available as well to assist Coloradans with questions about insurance and the claims process. DOI can be reached at 303-894-7490 or 800-930-3745 (outside of the Denver metro area), or by email at DORA_Insurance@state.co.us.

For more details, you can find a copy of the news release here.