Hailstorm that hammered western suburbs May 8 is costliest ever for Colorado

The hailstorm that pounded west metro Denver with golf ball and baseball-sized stones on May 8 will rank as the most expensive in state history, according to estimates Tuesday from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

The insurance industry trade group estimates that 150,000 auto insurance and 50,000 homeowners insurance claims will be filed, generating $1.4 billion in insurance losses.

That would surpass the $1.1 billion in damage claims in current dollars that a storm on July 11, 1990, generated and the $845.5 million in claims tied to a storm on July 20, 2009.

“The enormous size of the hail hitting densely populated areas of the Denver-Metro during rush hour has contributed to the magnitude of damage caused by this storm,” Carole Walker, executive director of the RMIIA, said in a statement.

Wheat Ridge, Golden, Lakewood and western Denver took the hardest hit from the storm. Colorado Mills suffered so much damage that it will close for six months.

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