|By Ryan Maye Handy, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
After he received a non-renewal notice from his insurance company last month, Monument resident
But nearly every company he turned to gave him the same answer: With the increased wildfire danger in the
He realized that he might as well stick with old insurer, "if I am going to have to cut down the trees regardless of what company."
Meeker among many Coloradans who are feeling the heat this winter after the most destructive wildfire season in state history.
In response to the billions of dollars of insurance settlements paid out to thousands of homeowners over the past few years along the
And the companies will subject each policyholder, such as Meeker, to further scrutiny. It's all in the interest of keeping homeowners safer, said
Long after the
The 2012 wildfire season was the most costly in
Along with Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the northeast in the fall, the 2012 hail and wildfire season in
Wildfire and hail storm survivors are as united in their struggles with insurance as they are in statistics.
Duca read stories about the "partial loss" group in The Gazette and realized he was going through the same motions with his company.
"I've experienced the same thing with insurance company not wanting to cover me," he said. "There are people who literally have had homes burned to the ground but they can rebuild. My basement is exactly as it was the day it flooded eight months ago."
The night of the storm, hail broke Duca's basement windows, and water drained from his neighbor's yard poured into the basement, he said. Duca had 700 gallons of water pumped from the basement. His insurance company refused to pay for the damage, claiming that it was caused by "groundwater," and therefore not covered by flood insurance, Duca said.
Like many homeowners, Duca said that he has never filed an insurance claim, but continued to pay his premiums as they mounted each year.
"Looking back on the premiums I paid, I could have just kept all that money and paid for the damage," Duca said. "It's a scary thought when we're spending all kinds of money."
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