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 Pueblo Hailstorm Adds to Colorado's High
Priced Summer Storm Season—Damage to Battered Homes
and Cars Estimated at $105.8 Million in Insured Losses.
August 4, 2009 – Colorado is living up to its "hail alley" reputation this summer, with last week's third catastrophic storm of the season again topping the $100 million mark. Damage from last Wednesday's hailstorm is estimated at $105.8 million in insured losses to homes and vehicles from approximately 22,000 claims. Golf ball-sized hail battered homes and pounded vehicles across Pueblo and tennis ball-sized hail hammered areas southeast of the city. Since the storm moved through in the late afternoon, the majority of claims are damage to cars with 15,800 auto claims and 6,200 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, and the July 20th hail and windstorm that has so far resulted in an estimated $350 million in auto and homeowner claims in Wheat Ridge, Lakewood and Arvada, makes it the most expensive catastrophe season in Colorado since a 45-minute hail storm caused $625 million in damage on July 11, 1990. This season is Colorado's second most expensive in terms of actual insurance payouts and costs adjusted for inflation. The insured losses this summer have totaled approximately $617 million in damage.
"Mother Nature obviously isn't concerned about the recession, as she continues on her own insurance spending spree, ringing up hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to Colorado homes and cars," says Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. "This latest storm to hit Pueblo is a reminder that severe weather season is far from over and NOW is the time to consider 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 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.
- $105.8 million in insured hail damage in Pueblo: July 29, 2009.
- $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:
Important Consumer Reminder: Insurance consumers, by law, make their own choice when it comes to selecting a roofing, home repair contractor or an auto body shop to fix your car. However, make sure you hire a licensed, reputable and insured contractor and an auto body shop that provides guarantees and specific timelines on repairs. Your insurance policy has certain limits and deductibles, so find out settlement amounts before you sign off on repair costs.
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.