Colorado’s Rising Insurance Rates – Mother Nature to Blame

Many of us are ready to tell Mother Nature, “enough already!” Sure, April showers bring May flowers, but hail brings havoc for many Coloradans battling increases in their homeowners’ insurance premiums. Spring and summer weather in Colorado have become increasingly unpredictable in recent years, due to catastrophic storms, destructive hail, and wildfires.

Recent data even suggests that Colorado is now one of the worst places in the United States for natural disasters, if you measure by insurance claims filed by homeowners. Our state is now second only to Oklahoma for catastrophic claims, according to new data from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, a nonprofit that provides information on the industry.

Homeowners insurance claims in Colorado have risen dramatically in recent years after trending relatively flat for more than a decade. In fact, Colorado is now one of the top six states in the country for the highest 5-year average annual insurance claim per home, as reported by the RMIIA. From 1997 to 2013, claims per home have increased 179 percent in Colorado, most of that increase happening since 2009. Not surprisingly, homeowners’ insurance premiums have increased to compensate for the elevated level of claims throughout the state.

During a recent interview with 7News Denver, Carole Walker, executive director of RMIIA, said “Since 2009, we’ve had year after year of catastrophic record-breaking hail storms, catastrophic fires. Across the board, homeowners are seeing their homeowners’ insurance premiums go up.”

In 2012, following the Waldo Canyon wildfire and severe hailstorms, Colorado homeowners’ claims hit a record for average payment per home at $936, according to data provided by the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. That compares with an average of $273 a decade earlier.

Nature can, and often does, take its course, and the best defense is to be prepared. With hail and fire season approaching, now is the time to prepare a home inventory, evaluate mitigation strategies for your property, and review your insurance coverage needs. If you need help figuring out if your home is covered for natural disasters or just want to check current insurance rates, contact one of our AAA Insurance agents at 866-975-9583 or visit AAA.com/insure today.