Mike: Hail season is here. What should I be aware of when it comes to my home insurance? – Chris
Chris, hail is the most costly and likely claim a homeowner will experience in Colorado. There’s a number of things you should be aware of when it comes to hail and your insurance. Most insurance companies have been creeping up the wind and hail deductibles in Colorado. Many times this change is buried in the renewal packet that you receive each year, making you potentially unaware that your deductible increased. Percent deductibles are becoming more and more common. If you have a 1% deductible, that means your deductible changes every year as the reconstruction cost of your home increases.
If you have a $500,000 house and a 1% deductible, your deductible is $5,000. In recent years insurance companies have begun adding exclusions that relate to hail. One of these exclusions is for cosmetic damage. Think about your roof vents, down spouts and gutters. These may get dinged up by hail, but if they’re still functional, they may not be covered. Ordinance and law coverage, while once standard on most home policies, is now becoming optional with many carriers. Many ordinances and laws have changed since the original construction of most homes. Without ordinance and law coverage, you’ll be paying out of pocket for updated code requirements, such as drip edge and ice and water shields. Now is a great time to talk to an independent insurance agency, who can shop your coverage and rates among a number of top-rated companies to best fit your needs.