Colorado Hailstorm Causes Over $28 Million in Damages

July 15, 2004

The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association estimates that a July 9th Colorado Springs hailstorm will result in more than 9,000 claims totaling $28.2 million in insured damage. This estimate includes approximately 5,600 auto claims and an additional 3,400 homeowner claims. This is an early estimate that may change as more of the claims the property/casualty industry continue to come in.

Some companies have brought in special catastrophe teams and have set up drive up claims centers to help speed up the settlement process. “Unfortunately the damaging hail that we’re seeing in Colorado this year is more on track with what we generally expect during a typical Colorado summer,” said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. “While we have escaped with several light hail seasons over the past few years, the state usually averages 3-5 damaging hail storms during the peak months of June and July.”

Colorado Springs’ last significant hailstorm was June 19, 2002, when another Friday hailstorm swept through the city and resulted in about $24.1 million in insured losses. Denver got pummeled last month with its worst hail damage in more than a decade—racking up $146.5 million in claims for cars and homes. Colorado ‘s most costly hailstorm was a 45-minute hailstorm that pounded the Front Range on July 11, 1990 with $625 million in insured damage.

The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association has this advice for affected homeowners filing claims for damage:

Hail damage is covered under your auto policy if you have comprehensive coverage. Damage from hail, wind and tornadoes are covered under a standard homeowners policy.

Be prepared to give your agent or insurance representative a description of any damage. Your agent will report the loss immediately to your insurance company or a qualified adjuster.

Take photos of the damaged areas. These will help with your claims process and will assist the adjuster in the investigation.

Prepare a detailed inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property. Be sure to make two copies—one for yourself and one for the adjuster. Your list should be as complete as possible, including a description of the items, dates of purchase or approximate age, cost at time of purchase and estimated replacement cost.

Make whatever temporary repairs you can. Cover broken windows, damaged roofs and walls to prevent further destruction. Save receipts for supplies and materials you purchase. Your company will reimburse you for reasonable expenses in making temporary repairs.

Secure a detailed estimate for permanent repairs to your home from a reliable contractor and give it to the adjuster. The estimate should contain the proposed repairs, repair costs and replacement prices.
Serious losses will be given priority. If your home has been destroyed or seriously damaged, your agent will do everything possible to assure that you are given priority.

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