COLORADO SPRINGS — When was the last time you took a good look at your homeowners insurance policy? Insurance experts say many people may be shocked to find out their policy no longer covers the cost of replacing their homes.
It's important to remember, by law insurance companies have to justify their premiums, but experts say current economic conditions, along with the impact of storms and wildfires in recent years has led to justified price hikes.
"Everybody needs to be aware that what may have been covering your house a year or two ago is not necessarily at the price it needs to be at right now," said local insurance agent Trey Whitlock.
Spending 14 years helping his neighbors with insurance issues in the Pikes Peak Region Whitlock says people need to pay attention to what's going on.
"The cost to insure a house is going to be more when the cost to rebuild a house is going to be more. So yes, everybody should probably be expecting some kind of rate change," said Whitlock.
The skyrocketing cost of construction materials because of lingering supply chain issues and a labor shortage are driving up the price of home repair and building expenses. There are concerns if homeowners don't make changes to their insurance policies to adjust for the increases, their policies won't cover major repair expenses if they need them.
"It is far more expensive today to build a home than what it was a years and a half or two years ago," said El Paso County Assessor Steve Schleiker who says he's seen what happens when people suffer during a disaster and don't have sufficient insurance coverage.
His office worked to help some of the people who lost homes in the Waldo Canyon Fire and other local disasters in recent years when they found out their current insurance policy wasn't enough.
"Unfortunately many of the folks who were impacted, either damaged, or their properties were destroyed, they were under-insured," said Schleiker. "So when they make a claim the insurance company would come in and say this is what you're insured for and they really didn't get the moneys from the insurance company for what the actual replacement cost is."
So the experts say the effort to protect your home from a future disaster should start now.
"So everybody should be asking their agent for a personal insurance review just to make sure that their dwelling coverage is at a sufficient amount," said Whitlock.
When it comes to navigating homeowners insurance it should be a fair and transparent process. So if you have any questions, or even complaints you should be reaching out to state investigators.
You can contact the insurance commissioner's office at 303-894-7490 or DORA_Insurance@state.co.us with those questions or complaints.
Also, if you need support locally in El Paso County you can contact El Paso County Assessor Steve Schleiker at (719) 520 6600 or by visiting https://assessor.elpasoco.com/