Effect of natural disasters on homeowner's insurance

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Fires, floods, and hurricanes are a few of the big concerns for homeowners, but even if not hit directly, individuals could still have to pay up.

"Rates don't tend to change during a natural disaster, rates tend to change after a natural disaster," said Nikki Meredith, agent at Insurance Planning Alternatives. "In Colorado, we are seeing an increase in homeowner's insurance rates due to the fires we've had recently and due to the hail storms that we've had last year."

For one former Bailey, Colorado resident, preparing for disaster really hits home.

"I have lived in Colorado off and on for quite awhile and have been in a fire area before," said Sunny Ramsey. "It was very scary. Nothing personally happened to us, but those things get out of control so fast that you can't say what's going to happen next."

The variables can get many thinking, and for those that have the option to choose homeowner's insurance, it's always best to play it safe.

"Homeowner's insurance is something that every homeowner should have," said Meredith.

And in Colorado, there are two disasters that occur most often according to the National Weather Service - forest fires and hail. Meanwhile, Hurricane Sandy may have little impact.

"We occasionally do see tropical characteristics come into Western Colorado in the past," said Paul Frisbie of the National Weather Service, "and enhanced flooding risk has occurred with those events."

Insurance companies recommend meeting with an insurance professional at least once per year to go over the policies and ensure all information is up to date.

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