June 14, 2002 by Canadian Underwriter
Wildfires running through Colorado’s Iron Mountain, near Canon City, recently are estimated to have caused US$75 million in insured damages, says the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.
In a press release, the association notes that the number is based on a majority of insurers having reported claims filed thus far. About 78 claims have been filed, with 25-30 being for homes totally destroyed by the blaze.
Other damages include destruction to buildings, belongings, living expenses, and damage from smoke and firefighting efforts.
While significant, the losses do not compare to the US$1.8 billion (US$2 billion in 2002 dollars) Oakland Hills fire of 1991. IN 2000, Colorado was hit with an US$18.5 million fire in the Hi Meadow and Bobcat area.
“While the potential for high dollar losses from wildfire are a very real threat in Colorado, they are isolated events in which cost is determined by the density of primary homes in the area (as compared to vacation homes and cabins), their estimated value and the amount of insurance coverage on the properties,” says Carole Walker, executive director of the association.
2002 may be the worst year on record for blazes in the state, fire officials predict based on “tinderbox” conditions.