An early morning hailstorm that pummeled Fountain and surrounding areas June 13 is the state’s 12th most expensive hailstorm on record and the second costliest in southern Colorado.
The storm caused an estimated $169 million in insured losses from nearly 26,000 auto and homeowners insurance claims filed, the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association reported Friday. Last week’s storm ranks behind a July 28, 2016, storm, which ranks as the state’s sixth-most expensive hailstorm and caused an estimated $352.8 million in insured losses.
“This is yet another reminder from Mother Nature of why Colorado is ranked No. 2 in the nation for hail insurance claims,” said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. “The size and amount of hail that battered Colorado Springs is unfortunately part of a pattern of catastrophic events the state has been experiencing during the past several years, so we need to be financially prepared for the unexpected.”
The damage estimates include 17,351 car insurance claims totaling more than $104 million and 8,648 homeowner’s insurance claims at more than $65 million.
The estimates come from the state’s 20 largest residential and auto insurers, who cover about two-thirds of the state’s individual policyholders, and don’t include damage to commercial or government property.
Walker said the June 13 storm caused about half as much damage as the 2016 storm, which hit much of eastern Colorado Springs, because it hit a less populated area as well as Fort Carson; military-owned property is not part of the estimate. The Fountain storm, however, caused more total losses because it included larger hailstones — up to 3 inches in diameter. Walker said the numbers are not expected to change much since most claims have been submitted and many have been paid.
“That adds to the length of time in the shop, the backlog of work at repair shops and the need to keep rental vehicles longer,” Walker said. “The cost of the vehicles damaged also is greater because new vehicles have more electronics that add to the overall value of the vehicle that has been totaled.”
The hail, which hit the area between 1 and 3 a.m. June 13, was part of the worst overnight storm in El Paso County in more than 20 years, said the National Weather Service in Pueblo.
“It was a historic event, considering the time of day,” Weather Service meteorologist Steve Hodanish told The Gazette.
Walker suggests residents check what and how much their insurance plans cover for “when you need it most.”
Northern Colorado and the Denver area was hit by a widespread, damaging hailstorm overnight June 18-19 that also likely will make the list of the state’s most damaging storms.