DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway said the total loss for the Marshall Fire has increased from more than $1 billion in losses to more than $2 billion.
The initial assessment of 951 homes in April exceeded $1 billion but since then, it has gone up due to additional claims and more assessments. Conway announced the new figure during a stakeholder meeting for Senate Bill 22-206 on Oct. 21.
The bill, named Disaster Preparedness And Recovery Resources, in part says: “The disaster resilience rebuilding program’s purpose is to provide loans and grants to homeowners, owners of residential rental property, businesses, governmental entities, and other organizations working to rebuild after a disaster emergency. The division may contract with a governmental entity, bank, community development financial institution, or other entity to administer the disaster resilience rebuilding program.”
According to the data provided in the meeting, rebuilding costs exceed what many were insured for, mostly at the higher price to rebuild per square foot.
Homeowners were underinsured by approximately $275 million total for claims submitted following total losses of their properties.
The Marshall Fire was the 10th most costly fire in U.S. history but with the new numbers, has moved up to somewhere between six and nine. It is the most expensive fire in Colorado history.
Colorado’s housing expense also meant that all the homes in the area were highly valued. Homes in Superior and Louisville have an average market value of $827,000 and $831,000, respectively.
What was damaged in the Marshall Fire?
More than 1,000 homes and several businesses were destroyed in the fire that ripped through the Town of Superior, part of Boulder County and the City of Louisville on Dec. 30, 2021.
The urban fire also caused severe damage to major businesses shutting them down for months, such as Target.
The initial breakdown in January after the fire was as follows:
- City of Louisville: 550 structures destroyed, 43 structures damaged; actual value* of residential damage is approximately $229,199,184
- Town of Superior: 378 structures destroyed, 58 structures damaged; actual value of residential damage is approximately $152,757,462
- Unincorporated Boulder County: 156 structures destroyed, 48 damaged; actual value of residential damage is approximately $131,255,944
- City of Louisville: 4 structures destroyed, 14 structures damaged
- Town of Superior: 3 structures destroyed, 14 structures damaged
- Unincorporated Boulder County: 2 structures damaged
The cause of the fire has not been determined but officials said in June that the investigation was nearly complete. Once it’s done, the case will be presented to the district attorney to determine whether anyone will be charged with a crime.