Most homeowners insurance covers 12 months of “additional living expenses.” For some of the Marshall Fire survivors, this means he could end his coverage on December 30th.
Boulder County, Colorado — Colorado Department of Health urges Marshall Fire survivors to consult their homeowner’s insurance policy. Because the funds to keep them may expire at the end of the year while they wait to rebuild.
Most insurance plans provide additional living expenses (ALE) funding for a year to cover short-term expenses such as food and hotel bills, plus rent for people whose homes have been destroyed. said Vincent Plymell of the state insurance department.
“It’s designed to cover the costs of someone leaving the house in a fire or something,” he said. “People usually get his ALE benefits on homeowners insurance for 12 or 24 months, with 12 months being more common.”
Two years of additional coverage are often offered for a fee, he said.
This means that many Marshall Fire survivors may not have insurance until December 30, the one year anniversary of the fire.
“It’s very important that people look for ways to extend these if they can,” Plymell said.
He recommends that survivors seek ALE extensions by:
- Review your policies to determine your ALE coverage.
- If you have a restructuring contract, contact your insurance company and request an extension for a specific period.
- If you believe that your insurance company has delayed any portion of your claim, request an extension of that period.
If none of those options work, people can also file a complaint with the insurance department, he said.
“We can’t ask companies to automatically extend their ALE benefits, but if people feel there was a delay, we can dig into it and investigate,” said Plymell.
Primell said the Marshall fires have also served as a wake-up call for people outside of Boulder County.As natural disasters such as wildfires are beginning to affect people living in more rural settings, the 12-month ALE It may not be enough.
“This is really something to think about right now. It may not be right for some people, but it’s something worth considering,” he said. “Now is the time to look at homeowners insurance and become familiar with the policies.”
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