As a property owner are your assets like insurance, land, farm, ranch and property secure?

On October 22, 2020, the Troublesome Fire became the second largest In Colorado History. Many people in Granby and Grand Lake lost property, assets, and livelihood.

Crystal McDonough and Natascha O’Flaherty, attorneys at McDonough Law were able to meet with people who were directly impacted by the fire. They were able to meet with people to review their property, land, assets and next steps to recover from the fire.

The Troublesome Fire was very devastating for many, but this struck a chord with Crystal, owner and attorney of McDonough Law LLC. Crystal J. McDonough grew up in Grand Lake. This was near and dear to her heart.

Crystal was able to assist people she had known for years and meet new residents through this disaster. There were people that had all their affairs in order and meeting with an attorney was to confirm what the next step would be within this disaster. For many others, their assets and liabilities were not in order and it made for difficult but necessary conversations.

With all that in mind, Crystal would like to share valuable information about how to prepare yourself for fire season or other unforeseen circumstances life has in store.

It is not a question of IF, but rather a question of when. The extreme dry conditions paired with winds and the lack of snowpack does not bode well for the next fire season.

1. Coverage: Based on the size and construction details of your home, does your coverage provide enough funding to rebuild your home?

2. Local building costs: Check the local rebuild cost per square foot. Currently, rebuild costs in Grand County rebuild START at $350/sq foot.

3. Replacement coverage: Does your policy cover replacement coverage for both the structures and the contents?

4. Personal Property: Take extensive photos of both the interior, exterior and landscaping of your home. This includes opening each drawer and cabinet and taking pictures of the contents. Store these pictures on the cloud or other safe place.

5. Catastrophic loss rider: This rider provides additional funds, above your normal disability policy benefits, in the event you become catastrophically disabled. This is a meaningful rider that depending on the carrier offers significant additional coverage amounts and simplified claims payouts.

6. Loss of use: It is recommended to get 24 months of coverage. After a large-scale fire, the shortage of labor and materials may delay when the home can be rebuilt. Look for a policy that offers coverage for actual cost of a comparable rental. It is prudent to avoid policies that offer a finite amount for loss of use, as post large scale fires, housing shortages drive up rental prices. Currently, a 3-4 bedroom house in Grand County rents for @9,000-$14,000/month for a furnished home.

7. Rebuild: If you have blueprints for your home, store them on the cloud or other secure place (Note, even high-end fireproof gun vaults, only had ashes inside after the East Troublesome fire).
8. Notify carrier of claim in a timely manner.

9. Document all communications with your agent and carrier in WRITING.

10. Be INFORMED and know your rights as a policy holder and the rules that your carrier must follow.

11. Upon filing a claim, request a certified copy of your policy. It MUST be provided within 30 days of request

Planning for your future, your children and grandchildren is very important, and your wishes are fulfilled.

If you have questions or would like to meet with one of our attorney’s contact one of our offices discuss your options.