ARVADA, Colo. — Home insurance rates continue to rise and Coloradans are likely to see a significant increase over last year.
When Jenny Meyer first opened the estimate for her homeowner’s insurance renewal, she thought it was a mistake.
Last year, she paid roughly $2,800, but her new estimate from Nationwide Insurance stated she would owe nearly $4,800 in premiums to insure her home, an increase of 69%.
“I was just in shock,” Meyer said.
She shopped around but got similar estimates from four other insurance companies. Since she’s retired and on a fixed income, that left her with a decision to make: pay the higher premiums and make sacrifices elsewhere or take a chance and not insure her home – something she could do because her house is paid off.
What’s happening to Meyer is happening to homeowners across the state as premiums continue to skyrocket in Colorado.
A March 2023 study conducted for the state’s Division of Insurance found that between January 2019 and October 2022, the average homeowner premium was up nearly 52%.
“Unfortunately, Colorado is in this perfect storm of escalating catastrophes,” said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.
Walker cited the state’s massive hail storms, devastating wildfires and record inflation as primary reasons why premiums are on the rise.
“We are very much at a tipping point where insurance companies are having to weigh their risk and how much risk they are able to take on to be able to protect their current policyholders,” Walker said. “Everyone is likely seeing some sort of premium increase, and depending on their risk, it may be more challenging to find what for them is affordable insurance.”
Walker suggested that homeowners shop around for the best premium and ask about discounts or assistance programs.
Meyer decided to pay her premium and, like many other homeowners, will have to figure out where to make cuts in her budget after already receiving a 38% property tax increase.
“I think that the government needs to understand that giving senior citizens 3% raises or 3.4% whatever it is this year isn't going to cut it,” Meyer said. “When you get bills like this that are going up at the rate they're going up, we're already paying more for medical, we're already paying more for groceries, the basic needs of life just are gonna deteriorate.”