Underinsured – What can you do to prevent your home policy falling behind in the Colorado Growth market

  • Real Estate
August 3, 2023

Insurance is complicated. Homeowners often pay little attention to their policy details until it is time to file a claim. When disaster strikes, the homeowner finds their policy inadequate to cover current construction costs.

Often homeowners’ insurance covers the cost to rebuild or fix your home to the policy limits, not necessarily the value of your home. Over time your coverage and the rebuilding cost can diverge. Increases in labor and materials costs are largely responsible, especially in recent years.

While insurance policies often contain language urging the insured to check yearly on whether the insurance is adequate, the State of Colorado also places certain statutory requirements on the Insurance company itself. Insurance agents, when offering or renewing a policy, must make additional extended replacement coverage available under C.R.S 10-4-110.8 (6). The insurer must also explain the additional coverage purpose, terms, and cost.

Extended replacement coverage covers additional costs to replace a damaged structure under current building conditions. The insurance company should offer a minimum of 20% above the limit on your primary structure. Extended coverage helps reduce the gap between insurance limits and current costs, meaning the homeowner is better covered when disaster strikes.

Absent the violation of a statute or regulation claims against insurance agents are minimal. The controlling case in Colorado Apodaca v. Allstate Ins. Co. limits the duty of an insurance agent to “refrain from affirmative fraud, not to watch out for a right of the insured and inform the latter of them.” In most instances, an insurance agent does not have the duty to advise for additional coverage.

Because of the many nuances and considerations, it is important to discuss the facts of your case with an attorney. Contact the experienced attorneys at Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. to discuss your options. Telephone and video conferences are currently available.

This blog is intended to provide general information and, therefore, should not be treated as legal advice. You should contact a qualified attorney for questions about legal issues.

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