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Insurance Companies Begin Damage Assessment of High Park Fire

Photo by Kirk Siegler/KUNC

State Farm insurance says it’s already processing more than 60 claims from people who have lost their homes or seen extensive damage from the High Park Fire. 

The blaze has consumed 189 homes and an unknown number of other structures, but the full extent of insurance claims may not be known for some time.

That’s for two reasons.

  • Hundreds of people are still evacuated 
  • Many of the burned areas still aren’t safe for residents, let alone the insurance adjusters to travel into. 

Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association says it could be weeks, if not months, before the full extent of the damages is known.

"This High Park Fire is eerily reminiscent of the Hayman Fire which was ten years ago this month. We’re just going to have wait and see, it’s the most destructive in terms of number of structures that have burned, but we’re not sure yet what that’s going to add up when it comes to how much insurance claims are paid out."

At least for now, 2010’s Four Mile Canyon Fire above Boulder that destroyed 169 homes is still the state’s most expensive blaze when it comes to insured losses.  That was due to the number of permanent residences and the number of high dollar properties. 

But Walker says major blazes like these are a wake-up call for any homeowner in a fire-prone area to make sure their policies and coverage are adequate

Editor's note: The RMIIA has a list of companies and contact information for claim lines for High Park Fire victims at this link.


Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.
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