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Colorado Hailstorm Could Be State’s Most Expensive Insured Catastrophe

The May 8 hailstorm that pounded Colorado’s Front Range is on track to be the state’s most expensive catastrophe.

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The May 8 hailstorm that pounded Colorado’s Front Range is on track to be the state’s most expensive catastrophe.

Preliminary insurance losses from the storm are estimated at $1.4 billion, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

In the aftermath of the storm – which spewed golf ball- and baseball-size hail – the association expects more than 150,000 car insurance claims and 50,000 homeowner’s insurance claims to be filed.

The largest hail pelted areas west of Denver, including Wheat Ridge, Golden and Lakewood.

If the estimates hold up, the losses from the May 8 hailstorm would surpass the previous state record holders: a July 11, 1990, storm that caused $1.1 billion in damage, and a July 20, 2009, storm that caused nearly $846 million in damage. Both numbers are adjusted for inflation.

“The enormous size of the hail hitting densely populated areas of the Denver-Metro during rush hour has contributed to the magnitude of damage caused by this storm,” said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. “Add to that Colorado’s population boom, escalating costs to repair high-tech cars and more expensive homes, the insurance price tag on our hailstorms can be expected to continue to rise.”

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The association noted that its estimates are preliminary and based on the available data reported by the majority of the Colorado insurance company market.

 

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