Colorado Seeing Higher Home Insurance Rates on Increased Disasters

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  • One of the things that can most significantly drive up an area’s average home insurance rate is if it’s impacted by a natural disaster of some kind. Whether it’s a flood, earthquake, hurricane, or others, the fact of the matter is that the damage is often costly, and those costs have to be recouped by insurers by raising rates. Of late, it’s been Colorado as a whole that’s been one of the states most impacted by these incidents, so insurance agents may have to start doing a little more work to educate their clients there as to why their rates are going up, and what they can do about it.

    The latest insurance data shows that Colorado saw an uptick in average claim payouts from home insurers of 179 percent in a 12-year period, from 2009 to 2013 , according to new data from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. In fact, more than half of all home insurance claims made in the state were related to natural disasters, including hail storms and wildfire. Only four other states (neighboring Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas) were north of 50 percent. Most others were at 39 percent or less.

    Well above average
    Meanwhile, 2013 – the most recent year for which data was available – saw 6.2 percent of all homeowners make a claim, well above the national average of about 5 percent, the report said. In 2009, that number was 12.4 percent in Colorado, while the national number was a little less than half of that.

    In addition, the cost of each of those claims tended to be massive, the report said. The Colorado average in 2013 was more than $11,300, compared with a U.S. number of a little less than $9,000. In fact, Colorado has come in close to or higher than that number in every year since 2008.

    Insurance agents who work to educate their clients are typically going to be the ones that get the most out of their ongoing relationships. That’s because clients who have good, open lines of communication with their agents are generally going to be the ones who are happiest with their coverage overall. That, in turn, is typically going to lead not only to higher customer satisfaction ratings, but also client retention rates, which will likely be extremely beneficial in the long run.