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Major hail storms contribute to increased insurance claims and costs

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

It's been exactly one year since the most costly catastrophe in Colorado. 

Last year a major hail storm smashed the Front Range. The damage estimate, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, is $2.3 billion. 

This storm, along with the one that hit Colorado Springs in 2016 that cost more than $350 million, is contributing to skyrocketing insurance claims and what it costs to pay them.

"Be prepared, I guess. We're coming into hail season right?"

It's a warning that Cally O'Donnell, an Allstate insurance agent and president of Colorado Insurance & Financial Specialists, has issued before. 

"It's not a matter of if they're going to experience some type of damage. It's typically when." 

It's because of major hail storms that have broken records in the last two years for damage costs. 

O'Donnell said, "It's difficult for those folks that are experiencing losses, whether their property or their auto losses, because of hail and wind damage."

Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association cautions that it all depends on individual situations and insurance companies. However, this is what some people are dealing with: the association says that over the last few years some homeowner's insurance is up by 20-30 percent and auto insurance premiums by more than 50 percent. 

The increased premiums, not the only auto issue people have had to deal with due to hail. 

Michael Reece, manager at Maaco Collision Repair, said, "The 2016 hail storm in Colorado Springs was the most significant hail storm that we had seen and the business is just now starting to trail off as far as the hail repairs to those cars...I would say we're probably down to just one or two a month from that storm that was here in 2016."

As a consumer, here is what you can do to prep for potential damages: check your policy, make updates as needed, and ask questions. 

O'Donnell said, "Make sure you understand your coverages. Definitely reach out to your insurance provider and review the coverages that you have...know what your deductible is so that you are prepared for that and be in a position to be able to respond should you be hit with hail damage this year."

Click here for more information on homeowners insurance and here for auto insurance.

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