DENVER (CBS4) – Many homeowners buy insurance for storm damage, but they are then surprised to learn they aren’t protected when trouble happens.
There’s a simple rule that applies — if the threat comes out of the sky, it’s covered. But if it comes out of the ground it’s not.
Kathy Hassoldt wasn’t home when lightning struck her Lone Tree home early Monday evening. Neighbors heard a loud boom, and then checked for damage.
“I just happened to be looking out that window and I saw the flames up 30 to 40 feet and it was surreal,” neighbor Jen Reidel said.
The Hassoldt home was badly damaged and they lost nearly everything. But fortunately for the Hassoldts, lightning is covered by standard homeowners insurance. So is hail damage and wind damage, including tornados.
But when flash flooding hits like it did last week, the protection homeowners may have thought they paid for doesn’t apply.
“I think the confusion comes as they assume insurance covers everything,” said Carole Walker, Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association Executive Director.
Damage caused by water entering a business or home is normally not covered unless the owner also bought flood insurance, according to Walker.
“So people need to understand when we’re in this monsoonal system of flood season is that they do need separate coverage for flooding and they do need to buy it 30 days in advance of the rising floodwaters,” Walker said. ‘So that’s something people need to be thinking about ahead of time.”
Flood damage is different with car insurance. As long as the owner has comprehensive coverage, they’re protected if they happen to stall out in high water.