Marshall Fire damaged or destroyed 1,270 properties: Officials

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In an update on the impacts of recent severe wildfire activity in Boulder County, Colorado, officials say that 1,270 properties were destroyed or damaged in the Marshall Fire, the majority of which are residential and were completely destroyed.

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Photo from: Hart Van Denburg / CPR News

The Boulder County Assessor and other County officials inspected burned areas of the region and counted destroyed and damaged structures and properties.

When we last covered the Marshall Fire, the latest estimate was for almost 1,000 properties to have been destroyed by the blaze.

As of January 6th, after this inspection, the figure has increased, to now 1,270 properties either destroyed or damaged, with 1,091 completely destroyed, the majority of which are residential.

As well as updated numbers on properties destroyed or damaged by the Marshall wildfire blaze, the authorities have also provided reconstruction values from the Assessor.

On the residential property side, where most of the damage was experienced, the Assessor gave the following totals:

  • City of Louisville: 550 structures destroyed, 43 structures damaged. Value approximately $229,199,184
  • Town of Superior: 378 structures destroyed, 58 structures damaged. Value approximately $152,757,462
  • Unincorporated Boulder County: 156 structures destroyed, 48 damaged. Value approximately $131,255,944

Totalling 1084 residential structures destroyed and 149 residential structures damaged.

Total value of residential property destroyed or damaged by the Marshall Fire: $513,212,590

On the commercial property side:

  • City of Louisville: 4 structures destroyed, 14 structures damaged
  • Town of Superior: 3 structures destroyed, 14 structures damaged
  • Unincorporated Boulder County: 2 structures damaged

Totalling 7 commercial structures destroyed and 30 commercial structures damage. Valuations of commercial property are still being calculated.

The officials have created a searchable map of properties within the Marshall Fire perimeter, with each marked as to whether it was impacted by the wildfire.

There is also a PDF list of all the destroyed and damaged properties, which will be useful for insurance and reinsurance interests looking to identify their level of exposure to the wildfire. Available here.

As we also reported last week, the Marshall Fire has been estimated as around a $1 billion insurance industry loss, by risk modeller Karen Clark & Company.

Meanwhile, Aon’s Impact Forecasting said that the wildfire would minimally be an industry loss in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The property values ascribed by the Boulder County officials above provide an idea of reconstruction values, but of course do not take into consideration any costs for insurance claims related to smoke damage, additional living expenses, personal belongings and vehicles.

At the levels of properties destroyed, of around a thousand, it seems reasonable to assume that the majority of the industry loss will be retained in the primary insurance market, although some may find its way to reinsurance markets through specific covers and arrangements.

Already there is some speculation that property insurance rates in the wildfire exposed regions of Colorado will now accelerate to be more in-line with increases seen in California over recent years, while reinsurance capital for wildfire exposed property programs is also likely to keep seeing price increases.

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