Like the West Coast, Colorado suffered devastating wildfires in 2020 and will experience others for years to come. If you are a commercial property owner or homeowner in Colorado, please do not misjudge the scope of damage these disasters can cause. Through the years, we have learned recovery tips and prevention methods to lessen the impact of wildfire damage on our businesses and homes.
What types of damage should you be concerned about after a wildfire?
Wildfire damages are often extensive and are not just limited to fire and smoke damage to your property. Wildfires can also impact water quality, access to public infrastructure and resources, air pollution, road stability, damaged landscaping, and even result in flooding and landslides in some circumstances.
Wildfire Recovery Tips:
Safety is #1
Do not return to your property until fire officials deem it is safe to return. Your safety is the first priority.
Document and list all damages in detail
When you file a claim with your insurance company, you will need to prepare a detailed list of all of your possessions that were damaged — down to the last Q-tip®. This list goes a long way in settling your claim fairly. A proactive step is to film and photograph your property and possessions now on your smartphone as a reminder and record that you can reference in case you suffer property damage later and have to file a claim. Storing receipts by photographing or scanning them into the Cloud for larger, more expensive items is also beneficial in proving what you owned.
Plan to rebuild
If your business or home has sustained major damage following a wildfire, you will likely be considering a rebuild. An important part of the wildfire recovery process is acting on the options in your policy that may allow you to update your building and make it safer than before. A licensed public adjuster can help you identify these options. Also, when you plan to rebuild, make sure you are using fire-resistant materials as part of the new structure.
Maintain your landscaping
Your landscaping can act as a safety zone for your business or home. Regularly maintain a safety zone of 30 feet around your business or home by clearing flammable plants and trees and replacing them with fire-resistant plants and shrubbery. You should also be sure to consistently clear your roof and gutters of debris to prevent it from catching fire and spreading throughout your property.
Have a licensed Colorado public adjuster handle your claim
If you have to file a claim for major wildfire damage, the intricacies and deadlines of the process can cause stress at an already difficult time. Also keep in mind that the insurance company will have a team of claim professionals protecting its financial exposure to your claim. Who can you turn to? A Colorado-based public adjuster like the team at AI/MBC.
We at AI-MBC live in our mountain communities and across the Front Range and have handled many property damage claims for the most severe Colorado wildfires. Our team of licensed public adjusters, inventory specialists, building estimators, and forensic accountants will fully document and evaluate your property damage and prepare a detailed claim. We then negotiate a full and fair settlement on your behalf without delay so that you can get back to your life and business sooner. Schedule an appointment or call now to get help today!