Insurance Claims from Colorado Wildfires at $450 Million and Growing

by Emily Holbrook on July 18, 2012 · 0 comments

The residents of Colorado have had a rough 2012. In April it was announced that 98% of the state was facing drought conditions, which raised crop prices and, even worse, set the stage for what would become one of the worst wildfires in Colorado history.

The High Park Fire in Larimer County and the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs have caused insured damage of $450 million with expectations that the number will grow significantly since the claims process has just begun. This figure is double the $224 million logged during the Fourmile fire west of Boulder in 2010, which was considered the state’s most costly. As of July 3rd, all but two Colorado counties had been deemed disaster areas.

Here is a video of the situation just two weeks ago:

Surprisingly, 2012 (so far) is not the worst wildfire year we’ve seen. The Insurance Information Institute states:

There have been 28,912 wildfires that burned 2.3 million acres in 2012, as of July 4, according to the National Interagency Fire Service. This compares with 37,326 wildfires that burned 4.9 million acres during the same period in 2011, and 30,354 wildfires that burned 1.5 million acres during the same period in 2010.

The same cannot be said for the nation’s drought — it is the worst in half a century. The Washington Post has uploaded close to 20 sad and startling photos of the drought of 2012. Take a look. It’s worth your time.

Emily Holbrook is the executive managing editor for National Underwriter Life & Health and the former editor of the Risk Management Monitor and Risk Management magazine. You can read more of her writings at EmilyHolbrook.com.

Leave a Comment