Five Things Wildfire Victims Should Do Now to Help with Insurance Claims
Things Wildfire Victims Should Do Now to Help with Insurance Claims
Posted by Shareholder Tom Henderson, Chair of Burg Simpson’s Bad Faith Insurance Division
First, our entire team at Burg Simpson grieves with the survivors of the Marshall and Middle Fork Fires. We know from experience how devastating the loss of your home and property can be.
Here are 5 things you should do ASAP to help with your insurance claim:
- Contact your insurance company or agent to report the claim.
- Take videos and lots of pictures of your home site. If you can find drone footage, keep that too. Although this is all raw and fresh in your mind now, you will find this very useful as time passes and your insurance claim drags on.
- Ask your insurance company to provide you with a COMPLETE copy of your insurance policy, including ALL policy forms, endorsements, and declarations pages. By Colorado law, your insurance company is required to get this to you within 3 days of your request.
- Ask for an “advance” to pay for temporary housing and clothing. If you need a laptop or other essential personal property while you recover, ask for money for that too.
- Ask your insurance company what information and documents it needs to get started on adjusting your claim. Ask for a timeline of when you can expect action from the insurance company. Confirm what they tell you in an email back to the adjuster. Follow up with the adjuster as those timeline dates occur.
See the clip on CBS News here:
Also, the Colorado Division of Insurance issued a Bulletin on January 3 informing insurance companies that any freeze or other weather-related claims that arise from the Marshall and Middle Fork Fires should be treated as a single fire claim, so only one deductible should apply. They also asked insurance companies to agree not to enforce any waiting periods to get Additional Living Expense (“ALE”) coverage.
Last, please consider accessing the webpage of an outstanding non-profit that provides a wealth of resources for victims of wildfires. The non-profit is called United Policyholders. Their website can be found at uphelp.org.
Good luck to all of the survivors.
Burg Simpson shareholder Tom Henderson and the Burg Simpson commercial litigation team have over four decades of experience analyzing and litigating these types of insurance policies. Mr. Henderson is the Chair of the Bad-Faith Insurance division of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department. He spent the first twenty years of his practice representing the insurance companies, answering their questions about whether or not their policies provided coverage for certain losses. He has spent the past 12+ years of his practice exclusively representing insurance policyholders pursuing claims for insurance benefits owed by the insurance industry. Mr. Henderson and the attorneys at Burg Simpson use Mr. Henderson’s unusual background to their clients’ advantage because they know where the insurance industry weak spots are, where the smoking guns are hidden and how best to structure their clients’ cases to maximize the potential of getting the insurance companies to pay the benefits owed.
If the insurance companies refuse to pay the benefits owed by their policies, then suing them for bad faith is an option to consider. Mr. Henderson and the attorneys at Burg Simpson have successfully sued insurance companies for bad faith collecting millions of dollars for their clients when their own insurance companies improperly denied, underpaid, or slow paid claims.
Mr. Henderson has been consistently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Insurance Law. He has also been recognized as a People’s Choice Best Insurance Lawyer and has been selected to Super Lawyers® every year since 2014. In 2019 and 2020, he was selected as a Colorado Top Lawyer in insurance by 5280 Magazine.
Tom Henderson and the commercial litigation lawyers at Burg Simpson are available for a free consultation. Call us to discuss how we can help.
Call Burg Simpson for Help Now: 888 895 2080