7951 E. Maplewood Avenue, Suite 110
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
Serving Colorado, New Mexico, Utah & Wyoming
Contact: Carole Walker, Executive Director
303-790-0216 or toll free 800-355-9524
Last Week's Hail and High Winds Cost an Estimated
$350 Million in Insured Damage—Making It the
Most Costly Storm in Colorado History.
July 27, 2009 – Mother Nature has taken her toll on Colorado this summer with damage from last Monday night's hail and high winds adding up to an estimated $350 million in insured losses to homes and vehicles from approximately 52,400 claims. Golf ball-sized hail and strong winds battered roofs, uprooted trees and pounded vehicles in Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Arvada and Englewood. Since the storm occurred overnight and more cars were parked in garages, there are more property losses with more than 19,500 auto claims and 32,900 homeowner claims filed so far.
This latest storm damage, in combination with a week of wild weather from June 6-15 that caused an estimated $161.1 million in damage to property and cars in Aurora, Parker, Centennial and Fort Collins, makes it the most expensive catastrophe season in Colorado since a 45-minute hail storm caused $625 million in damage on July 11, 1990. The insured losses this summer have totaled more than $511 million in damage and Colorado's severe weather season is far from over.
"This summer Mother Nature has reminded Coloradans that we live in "hail alley" where strong storms can cause hundreds of millions of dollars in insured damage," says Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. "This season is reminiscent of the mid 1980s and early '90s, giving us a real wake-up call that now is the time to be thinking about how much insurance coverage you have to fix your car, repair or rebuild your home and replace your personal belongings."
Most of Colorado's most costly storms are hail-related and occurred in the Denver-metro area (which makes sense, because that's where the largest concentration of property in the state is located).
Colorado's Top Ten Most Costly Storms:
- $625 million insured hail damage: July 11, 1990.
- $350 million insured hail and wind damage: July 20, 2009.
- $276.7 million insured hail damage: June 13-14, 1984.
- $225 million insured hail damage: October 1, 1994.
- $193.5 million insured tornado and hail damage in Windsor: May 22, 2008.
- $161.1 million insured tornado and hail damage: June 6-15, 2009.
- $146.5 million insured hail damage: June 8-9, 2004.
- $128 million insured hail damage: August 11, 1997.
- $122 million in insured hail damage: May 22, 1996.
- $100 million in insured hail damage: May 30 - June 2, 1991.
- $93.3 million insured damage from heavy snow and ice: March 18-19, 2003.
For more information:
RMIIA recommends that you take these preventative steps:
DO AN ANNUAL INSURANCE CHECK-UP
Insurance is something most people don't even want to think about until they need it the most. But, understanding what is and isn't covered in your homeowners' insurance policy can mean the difference of being able to rebuild your home and replace your personal belongings. Homeowners need to do annual insurance policy "check-ups" to make sure they keep up with local building costs and have adjusted their coverage to include home remodeling and additions.
If you don't have replacement coverage, consider spending a few extra dollars for coverage that pays for the cost of replacing the damaged property without deduction for depreciation.
KNOW WHAT IS & ISN'T COVERED
The typical homeowners' insurance policy covers damage resulting from fire, windstorm, hail, water damage (excluding flooding), riots and explosion as well as other causes of loss, such as theft and the extra cost of living elsewhere while the structure is being repaired or rebuilt.
Hail and flood damage to your car is covered only if you have purchased optional comprehensive insurance on your auto policy.
Your policy also covers your legal liability (up to policy limits) if you, members of your family or even your pets hurt other people or their property, not just in your house, but away from it, as well. If you have a lot of assets to protect, you may want to consider an umbrella policy that offers increased protection against lawsuits.
The standard policy does not cover flooding, so you may want to look into flood insurance coverage if you're concerned that you're at risk for rising floodwaters.
CREATE A HOME INVENTORY
Make a home inventory that includes lists, pictures or a videotape of the contents of your home or apartment. After all, would you be able to remember all the possessions you've accumulated over the years if they were destroyed by a tornado or fire? Having an up-to-date home inventory will help get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.
It's easy to get overwhelmed, but RMIIA now has free software that you can download to help simplify the process! You can even add digital photos and scan in receipts, along with your room-by-room online inventory. Log on to www.rmiia.org for free home inventory software or a sample home inventory.
For more consumer information on insurance topics logon to www.rmiia.org.
Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association is a non-profit consumer information organization. Affiliated with the Insurance Information Institute, RMIIA has been serving consumers and the media since 1952.