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Colorado Weather Damages Expected to Cost Millions. Are You Covered?

Hail Estimates from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association show that the organization is expecting Colorado insurance companies to pay more than $770 million in compensation for destruction of property caused by the hail, rain, fire, and windstorms that have struck the state so far this season. In June, Colorado insurers saw more than 33,500 auto insurance claims as a result of the hailstorms that hit there, resulting in about $85 million worth of damages. That’s an average claim size of roughly $2,500, which is no small repair bill.

Unfortunately, the real total for damages caused by the hailstorm is likely to be much more than $85 million. That’s because not every car in Colorado is outfitted with coverage for weather-related damages. In order to be covered for repairs necessitated by forces of nature, the policyholder would need to have purchased comprehensive insurance coverage.

Comprehensive coverage, for most people, is optional. State law doesn’t require it, and a significant portion of drivers go without it in order to cut out a hundred or a couple hundred dollars from their premium payment. You might be required to carry it, however, if you’re financing your vehicle and your lender includes it as a condition of the loan.

This optional coverage type is especially valuable if you live in an area where inclement weather and/or vehicle theft are common occurrences. Unfortunately, that also means it will be more expensive to add protection when living in those areas. It’ll also be more expensive if your car is worth more.

But in a place like Colorado, it might be worth it. According to an analysis of claims data released by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), Colorado was one of the 10 states where auto policyholders most frequently filed hail-related claims. Between 2009 and 2011, about 1 claim was filed for every 110 comprehensive policies that were in place. The national average was about 1 for every 293 policies.

If you don’t have comprehensive insurance and recently had your car damaged by violent weather in Colorado, you’re probably out of luck when it comes to having repairs covered. If you want to make sure that you’re not exposed to those losses in the future, you should see how much insurance will cost if you add it to a policy. You can do this through many of the quote-comparison sites accessible on the Web. Also, read up on how altering deductibles can save you money before making a final purchase.