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RMIIA's info ranges from how to buy auto, home or business insurance to driving safety tips to loss prevention. Whether it's auto theft or how to file a claim, RMIIA helps walk you through the murky waters of insurance.
Carole Walker, RMIIA

RMIIA News Releases

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

Final Insurance Damage Estimates for Colorado's 2009 Summer Storm Season Puts the Official Tally at $1.4 Billion—Making It the Most Expensive in State History.

May 18, 2010 – 2009 will live on in Colorado storm infamy. Mother Nature made state history last year with the most costly severe weather season adding up to more than $1.4 billion in insured damage and one July storm ranking as the state's most expensive insured disaster in actual insurance claims paid out with insured losses totaling $768 million in claims resulting from damage to vehicles and homes. The updated damage estimate makes it the most expensive catastrophe season in Colorado, topping a 45-minute hail storm that caused $625 million in damage on July 11, 1990. When adjusted for inflation, the July 11, 1990 hailstorm still tops the July 20, 2009 storm if compared in today's dollars (see chart).

The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association estimates the final insurance damage total for the season's three catastrophic storms more than doubled from an earlier damage estimate of $617 million. Most claims are now settled and those affected by the hail, wind and tornadoes typically have one year to file insurance claims. This estimate does not include commercial claims from businesses. With the extremely large volume of losses, claim filing and repairs continued for months after the storms. The damage resulted in more than 200,000 auto and property claims.

The '09 storm damage includes a week of wild weather from June 6-15 that caused an estimated $353 million in damage to property and cars in Aurora, Parker, Centennial and Fort Collins, the July 20 hail and windstorm that resulted in an estimated $768 million in auto and homeowner claims in Wheat Ridge, Lakewood and Arvada, and a $233 million hail storm that pounded Pueblo on July 29.

"As we head into the 2010 severe weather season, this record price tag on last year's devastation is a wake-up call that we can't just cross our fingers and hope we don't land in Mother Nature's path," says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. "Lessons learned from '09 are that we need to take preventative steps, like considering impact resistant roofing, to protect our property and consider how much insurance coverage you have to fix your car, repair or rebuild your home and replace your personal belongings."

For more information:

Colorado's Most Costly Hail Storms
With the exception of the May 22, 2008 Windsor tornado and the hailstorm that hit Pueblo on July 29, 2009, Colorado's ten most costly hailstorms were centered in the Denver Metro area (which makes sense, because that's where the largest concentration of property in the state is located).

Date Location Cost When Occurred
2009 Dollars
July 20, 2009 Denver Metro $767.6 ---
July 11, 1990 Denver Metro $625.0 $1.03 Billion
June 6-15, 2009 Denver Metro $353.3 ---
June 13-14, 1984 Denver Metro $276.7 $571.3
July 29, 2009 Pueblo $232.8 ---
October 1, 1994 Denver Metro $225.0 $325.7
May 22, 2008 Windsor $193.5 $192.8
June 8-9, 2004 Denver Metro $146.5 $166.4
August 11, 1997 Denver Metro $128.0 $171.1
May 22, 1996 Denver Metro $122.0 $166.8

*2009 estimated cost calculations based on the Consumer Price Index.

RMIIA recommends that you take these preventative steps:


  • Your roof is the most vulnerable part of your home, so when building a new home or replacing your roof consider using impact-resistant roofing products. Most insurance companies also either surcharge or only offer a percentage deductible for wood shake or non-impact resistant roofs. When hail destroys roof coverings, it also leads to water damage to your ceilings, walls, floors, appliances and personal possessions.
  • The insurance industry has an impact resistant roofing Underwriters Laboratory standard ranking, the UL 2218 standard. The standard has four impact-level designations that will help you compare products. Roof coverings that show the most resistance earn a Class 4 rating; the least, a Class 1 rating.


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.

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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.

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