Damage from Colorado’s hail and high winds on July 20 are adding up to an estimated $350 million in insured losses to homes and vehicles from approximately 52,400 claims, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. 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, RMIIA said.
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 Ft. 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,” said Carole Walker, RMIIA executive director. “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, the association said.
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, visit www.rmiia.org/Catastrophes_and_Statistics/tornado.html.
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