Colorado Tornado, Hail Damage Adds Up To Estimated $147M in Damage

May 28, 2008

Colorado residents in Windsor and surrounding communities are starting the process of repairing and rebuilding their homes, following May 22’s tornadoes and hail and wind storm. Meanwhile insurance companies have sent staff to the affected areas to assist customers with claims.

Based on preliminary estimates, the damage is adding up to an estimated 20,000 claims and $147 million in insured damage to cars and homes, the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association said. The estimated 8,000 property claims range from glass and roof damage to homes ripped from their foundations and completely destroyed from the force of the tornado. The estimated 12,000 auto claims range from everything to hail dents on cars to totaled vehicles. The damage amounts are expected to make this storm the fourth most expensive insured disaster in the state.

“It is common for Colorado to get hit with hundred million dollar hail storms because they can cause damage to such a large area — pummeling thousands of cars and homes in a matter of minutes,” says Carole Walker, RMIIA executive director. “However, historically tornadoes haven’t caused this amount of costly damage in Colorado because they have touched down in less populated areas. Unfortunately, this time residents of Weld County were caught in the path of a devastating storm.”

Colorado Casualty indicated its appraisers visited more than 40 commercial and personal policyholders in Windsor and nearby Gilchrest and Greeley to assess damages.Similar rapid response efforts were undertaken across the border in Laramie, Wyo.

“We’ve responded quickly through our agent force and directly with our impacted policyholders to get large loss property adjusters to them,” said Michael Brewer, vice president of claims for Colorado Casualty. “Once on scene, we are getting these claims set-up and assisting with temporary repairs to prevent further losses.”

Prior to this storm, all of Colorado’s most costly disasters occurred in the Denver-metro area, which has the largest concentration of property. Previously, Colorado’s most costly tornado caused an estimated $20 million in damages to Limon on June 6, 1990.

Colorado’s 10 Most Costly Storms:
$625 million insured hail damage: July 11, 1990.
$276.7 million insured hail damage: June 13-14, 1984.
$225 million insured hail damage: October 1, 1994.
$147 million insured tornado and hail damage: May 22, 2008
$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.
$87.8 million insured damage: October 16, 1998.

Sources: Colorado Casualty, RMIIA

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