The hailstorm that swept through the Denver area and elsewhere in Colorado Monday was declared a “claims catastrophe” by insurers, good news for policyholders because doing so accelerates payment on storm-related damage claims.
While claims were still rolling in, more than a dozen of the largest insurance companies that do business in Colorado had determined the storm had risen to the catastrophic level before mid-day Tuesday.
More than a drenching rain, the storm produced hail reported in excess of 2 inches in diameter. Broken windows in autos and homes, downed trees and hail damage to roofs, siding and fences were all reported. The highest number of claims were filed in the Denver metropolitan area.
As part of their response, insurers deployed additional staffing to help deal with the high number of claims.
Severe thunderstorms were forecast for most of the week, bringing the potential for more hail. Hailstorm season in Colorado starts in April and goes through September.
The most common hail damage involves roofs, producing more than $1.5 billion in damages annually across the U.S.
Are You Prepared for Hail and Severe Weather?
Four steps to take to make sure you and your family are ready:
Conduct a yearly insurance review of your insurance policy and limits. This will help to ensure you are adequately insured and better able to weather a catastrophic loss. To help you determine how much coverage you may want, check with local builders or Realtors for the current costs associated with building new homes, and then add at least 10-20 percent. Also, ask your agent or insurer about deductibles and discounts that may be available. Make sure you know the amount of your deductible – it may be based on the value of your home or be a fixed dollar amount. Higher deductibles can help keep the cost of insurance affordable.
Talk with your insurance company or agent about additional coverage options such as flood or earthquake insurance. The standard homeowner’s policy does not cover losses that result from floods or earthquakes.
Create a home inventory by using your smartphone. An inventory lists your home’s contents so you can quickly and easily account for all of your belongings and report the loss to your insurance company. Without it you may have to rely on your memory to determine what you lost. The home inventory will help speed up the claims process and ensure you are compensated fully for your loss. Keep the inventory and your insurance policies in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box or online.
Prepare for power outages, inconveniences, and scams that could affect your finances. When the power is out you may not have the ability to pump gas, withdraw cash from an ATM, or pay for things electronically. So, as severe weather approaches, fill up your gas tank in case you have to evacuate, have some cash on hand for emergencies and charge all your electronic devices. After a storm, insurers may be able to assist policyholders with paying for expenses such as temporary housing and restaurant meals if your property is determined to be uninhabitable due to the storm. Additional living expenses coverage can help homeowners and renters with the increase over normal living expenses.
Matt Genova is the Personal Lines manager at CCIG. Reach him atMattG@thinkccig.comor 720-330-7936.
Note: Our agents are available to help address questions and assist in the resolution of any issues surrounding a catastrophe claim. As always, we at CCIG look forward to providing you with superior customer service.