Three tips to make the most out of Colorado homeowner’s insurance

Homeowner's insurance is intended to protect the investment of homeownership. These tips can help make the most of an insurance policy.

For most Coloradoans, purchasing a home signifies a number of things, such as: establishing roots, starting a family and becoming a part of a community. In addition to the intangible joys of homeownership, purchasing a home is likely also the biggest financial transaction a homeowner will make. As a result, many homeowners' take steps to protect their investment. The biggest example is the use of homeowner's insurance.

Homeowner's insurance in Colorado

Homeowner's insurance is regulated at the state level. In Colorado, the Division of Insurance conducts examinations of insurance companies to ensure that they are following the various statutes and regulations designed to help protect consumers. In addition to enforcing these laws, the Division of Insurance along with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies recommends the following steps to make the most out of a homeowner's insurance policy:

  • Make a list. The first step to protecting property is to put together an accurate inventory of all belongings. This includes furniture, artwork, china, appliances, linens, silverware, electronics, firearms, clothing, window treatments, and any other items of value.
  • Organize. Keep this inventory easily accessible. Email it or store it online where it can be retrieved if needed. For extremely valuable items, like artwork, furniture or electronics, the agency also recommends scanning in receipts and having these stored with the inventory.
  • Plan. Make sure the insurance policy is up to date. Read the policy and discuss it with an agent. It is also wise to have a plan if the family is separated during a disaster. This could include a meeting place.

Generally, standard policies in Colorado cover damage that results from "wind, wind-driven rain, falling objects, or the collapse of a structure due to the weight of hail and debris". Exceptions often include water damage to the interior in a situation when the roof or walls are not damaged, flood damage and backed up sewers or drains. Inclusion of a flood insurance provision can help extend coverage to some of these areas.

Coloradoans also must protect against wildfires. This is particularly true for those who live near dry grasslands or in the mountains and foothills. Most standard policies provide coverage for "loss of a structure or property to fire; smoke damage to the structure and its belongings; damages that occur from fire retardant drops; and costs to stay elsewhere if ... evacuated."

What to do if the homeowner's insurance policy provider does not pay?

Unfortunately, not all insurance companies abide by the policies they provide. Although an official complaint with the Colorado Division of Insurance can lead to revocation of a license or civil penalties, other remedies are available. Policy holders that believe their claim was either wrongly denied or are dealing with significant delays have recourse. Contact an experienced denied coverage dispute law firm to discuss your options.