DENVER - The perception of some is that catastrophic losses caused by wildfires in the last two years are bringing up the rates of home insurance. The reality is very different and proven by insurance statistics.
"Some of the increases that folks may currently see as a result of catastrophes may not be related to the wildfires. The wildfires are what we're hearing about, but it could actually be related to some of those other natural disasters that we're prone to, like hail and wind," said Kelly Campbell with the state's Property and Casualty Insurance Association.
According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, eight of the ten most costly catastrophes in Colorado history involve hail, wind and tornado damage. Only the Waldo Canyon and Fourmile Canyon fires were listed among the ten most costly catastrophes. Waldo Canyon was the most expensive wild fire with approximately 4,300 claims filed and estimated insured losses totaling more than $352.6 million. Damage estimates from the Fourmile Canyon fire are $217 million.
The most costly catastrophe in Colorado history resulted from severe weather during July in 2009 with losses totaling more the $1.4 billion.
"Hail does wide spread damage over a very large area, and so even though the devastation isn't as dramatic as what we see with a wildfire, they are very expensive. It is very costly to replace roofs, to replace siding, those types of things."
Because severe weather is responsible for much of Colorado's catastrophic insurance claims and severe weather is widespread, insurance rate increases are widespread as well.
"From a pricing standpoint in the insurance industry we look at trends," Campbell said. "We look at what has happened in the past over time and try to predict what is going to happen in the future."