Insurance moratoriums add to fire woes
Following a standard industry practice, a number of insurance companies responded to the fire by placing a moratorium on new policies in the area.
Those companies will not insure customers within 10 miles of the fire, one insurance agent said. They won't issue quotes until the fire is 50 percent contained, and then they only will begin insuring customers with 100 percent containment.
The insurance moratoriums come as the High Park Fire continues to rage in the mountains west of Fort Collins. The blaze has swelled to 59,500 acres. Firefighters had it 50 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, authorities said.
Evacuation orders remained in place for multiple areas, including the Poudre Canyon, areas south and west of Bellvue, the Lory State Park area and Rist Canyon.
Farmers Insurance was among the companies that stopped writing policies, at least for a while.
Farmers imposed a moratorium last week in Zip codes 80525 and 80528, Farmers State Executive James Pursell said.
The company since has lifted the insurance ban on those Zip codes, Pursell said.
But like Farmers, companies such as Allstate and American Family Insurance continued to avoid writing policies in areas threatened by the fire.
"The closer you get to the fire, that's where the restrictions are going to be," Pursell said.
Allstate lifted its moratorium for the 80545 Zip code, which represents Red Feather Lakes, a spokeswoman said.
The practice is aimed at prohibiting insurance fraud, insurance company representatives said.
Insurance companies, meanwhile, are continuing their work to help their customers with claims.
The fire destroyed the homes of at least nine American Family customers, a spokesman said in an e-mail.
"We have a catastrophe vehicle and claims personnel at the evacuation center to help us keep in touch with American Family customers displaced by the fire," he said.
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Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins, and Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village,