The recent grass fire in Ken Caryl and the subsequent devastation in Boulder County have prompted many Ken Caryl residents to take a closer look at their home insurance. Here is a list of some of the major things to look for in your policy.

Dwelling Coverage

This is the amount your insurance company could pay to rebuild your house. Early indications in Boulder show that many people are underinsured due to recent spikes in building costs. Fortunately, most policies have extended replacement cost or even guaranteed replacement cost. I recommend adding guaranteed replacement cost. Unfortunately, most companies don’t offer guaranteed replacement cost.  If your insurance carrier doesn’t offer guaranteed replacement cost, you should add the maximum amount of extended replacement cost available.

Additional Living Expenses

This may also be referred to as loss of use. This coverage pays your additional living expenses incurred from a covered loss. Most policies include 12 months of coverage. In a total loss of your home, 12 months would likely not be enough. Many companies can provide 24 months of coverage, some companies can even provide more. I recommend no less than 24 months of additional living expenses.

Personal Property

Personal property includes most of the things inside the average house. Most personal property is either covered at replacement cost or actual cash value. If your property is covered at actual cash value (ACV), you would get Goodwill store values for your items. If you have replacement cost, you could receive the amount to replace your items with new things. I recommend every couple of years inventorying your belongings with a video and upload the video to the cloud. Go through every room, open every closet, open every drawer. Take pictures of important documents, including deeds and titles. This will make your claim much easier as the video will help you remember the items you lost.

Ordinance and Law

Most home policies include 10% of your dwelling limit for code upgrades. There’s been several changes to the building codes for new construction in the past 30-40 years. The Jefferson County code requirements for ‘green’ homes, fire safety, electrical, plumbing and drainage could add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the rebuild. I recommend increasing your ordinance and law coverage to at least 20%, if not more.



Home insurance can be complex. In recent years, many companies have grown their business by offering the cheapest price. Ask yourself, if the worst were to happen in Ken Caryl, would you be thankful that you saved $200 a year on your home insurance, or would you be relieved that you properly protected your home? I’d be happy to review your current insurance policy and make recommendations at no cost. Follow this link to securely upload your home insurance policy to me for review.

The recommendations in this article are generalities. Contact Mike for a customized plan.