Colorado’s wildfire risk is so high some homeowners can’t get insured. The state may create last-resort coverage. |

Colorado’s wildfire risk is so high some homeowners can’t get insured. The state may create last-resort coverage.

Some Colorado homeowners are telling state regulators and lawmakers that they can’t secure coverage for their homes because of rising wildfire risk

Jesse Paul and Olivia Prentzel
The Colorado Sun
A house fire ignites in Silverthorne on Dec. 10. No one was injured in the blaze and it was resolved within a matter of hours.
William LaBahn/Courtesy photo

State lawmakers are preparing to introduce a bill in the legislature that would create a quasi-governmental program offering basic home insurance to the growing number of Colorado homeowners who say they can’t get coverage from private companies because the risk of wildfire is growing.

The Colorado Division of Insurance has fielded dozens of calls and emails, many of them since August, from Coloradans who say they have been turned down by private home insurers. The situation presents the specter of financial calamity for people whose homes are their primary asset and for communities that lean on real estate as an economic engine.

Without home insurance, it’s impossible to secure a mortgage, which dramatically limits who can buy or sell a home. There’s also immense financial risk in owning a property without insurance coverage. 

The problem is especially acute in high country communities, but Coloradans who live on the Front Range, particularly those near where the Marshall fire destroyed more than 1,000 homes in December 2021, are also reporting problems securing coverage for their properties.

“We can see the handwriting on the wall that we’re starting to have a problem,” said state Rep. Judy Amabile, a Boulder Democrat who is taking the lead on the prospective legislation, which is expected to be introduced at the Capitol after the legislature reconvenes next month for its 2023 lawmaking term. 


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