Cold weather will continue to impact Colorado homeowners and renters.
Colorado has experienced some frigid temperatures recently, and another snowstorm has blanketed many parts of the state today. And as Coloradans, we know to expect still more snow and cold as we head into the spring.
With cold weather comes the common problem of frozen and burst pipes. If people experienced this during the last cold snap, they’re probably already working with their insurance companies. Others could be dealing with this issue today, or even in the coming weeks. Because of this, the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), offers some general tips about homeowners and renters’ insurance when submitting claims in these situations.
- Burst pipes - and resulting water damage to the property (such as flooring or cabinets) and the contents of your home - generally are covered under homeowners and renters’ insurance policies.
- If you can’t live in your home because of the water damage from burst pipes - in insurance-speak, your home is uninhabitable as a result of a covered loss - then Additional Living Expenses (ALE) could be claimed on your homeowners / renters’ insurance to cover the additional costs associated with staying in a hotel or other residence. If this happens, be sure to keep receipts and other records.
- The problems Texas suffered are still very much in the news, so know that if there is an extended power outage due to ice storms or other weather, you may be able to make a claim for food spoilage, and if the home becomes uninhabitable, maybe ALE.
- The Division often sees claims get delayed or become problematic when the homeowner or renter neglects to include an inventory of damaged property when submitting the claim. It’s important to provide all the information as soon as possible so that the claim can be processed quickly. Providing information in bits and pieces will slow things down.
- Homeowners and renters should contact their insurance company as soon as possible after the damaging event occurs. While you need to mitigate any further damage, you should get additional instructions from the company before making any repairs.
One more word of caution, but that is not related to insurance and claims, but is about safety. With some of the deep snow seen today, and which can be common throughout Colorado, it’s important to recognize that the vents of your house can get blocked, trapping gases like carbon monoxide inside. After a big storm, make sure the snow (and anything else) is not blocking the outside vents or stacks for your stove, dryer, furnace and fireplace.
Colorado consumers should contact the Division of Insurance if they’re having trouble with their claims moving forward, are concerned about the information they are receiving from their company, a poor level of customer service or are experiencing any kind of problems or delays with their claims. In these cases, it’s time to ask questions, and maybe even file a complaint. Contact the Consumer Services Team of the Colorado Division of Insurance at 303-894-7490 / 800-930-3745 / DORA_Insurance@state.co.us / doi.colorado.gov.
About the Division of Insurance:
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit doi.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745.
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 800-886-7675.