Insurer Action Requested Amid New Mexico’s Wildfire Disasters

Insurer Action Requested Amid New Mexico’s Wildfire Disasters


On April 21, 2022, the New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) distributed a notice to all property and casualty insurers doing business within the state requesting certain action related to wildfire claims received from the following declared wildfire national disasters in New Mexico: Nogal Canyon, McBride, Hermit’s Peak, and Big Hole.

In an effort to support survivors experiencing challenges when filing wildfire claims, the OSI requests the following:

  1. For smoke, soot, and ash claims:
    1. Inspect the home when smoke, soot and ash are visible. Authorize repairs/cleaning/replacement as necessary of hard surfaces, HVAC systems, attic insulation and soft goods; and
    2. If there is a question of habitability after cleaning, insurance company should offer independent testing at the insurer’s cost. Additional Living Expenses should be continued until testing and remediation is complete.
  2. Affirmatively reach out to policyholders within the affected areas to offer assistance, as needed, with claims related to the wildfire events.
  3. For total losses, ensure that contents coverage includes options for streamlining inventory documentation for total losses for those eligible for additional replacement cost benefits from their policy, plus:
    1. Utilize inventory forms that allow grouping by category, itemizing large items, or grouping by room; and
    2. Conduct individual interviews with policyholder(s).
  4. Individual claims filed in the declared disaster areas, as defined by FEMA, are to be treated as a single fire loss with one deductible, even if multiple claims are made by the same policyholder.
  5. No future adverse underwriting actions should be taken based in whole or in part on a claim filed as a result of the Nogal Canyon, McBride, Hermit’s Peak, and Big Hole wildfire events.

Importantly, the OSI has instructed insurers to confirm whether the requested actions will be implemented. Insurers are to complete a downloadable Excel form and submit it to no later than May 6, 2022.


Link to Notice

Link to Excel Form