Hail damage to cars and homes cost one insurance company $2.4 billion in 2014. That company – State Farm – is quick to point out that hail can drop in every state in the country.
Of course, some states are more hail-prone than others are. State Farm said that the worst states for home and auto claims due to hail damage in 2014 were:
1. Texas 51,193 claims 2. Illinois 43,821 claims 3. Colorado 42,365 claims 4. Missouri 23,019 claims 5. Nebraska 21,326 claims 6. South Carolina 20,170 claims 7. Pennsylvania 19,088 claims 8. Iowa 12,869 claims 9. South Dakota 12,367 claims 10. Kansas 11,562 claims
Hail is comprised of balls, or lumps, of ice that can vary greatly in size. Some hailstones are as small as peas, while others are as big as softballs – or bigger. The biggest hailstones on record were 18.75 inches in circumference. Ouch.
Here are some tips from State Farm, to protect your home, car and family from the ravages of hail:
- Personal safety is a number one priority and if you are indoors when a hailstorm hits, stay there. Hail can shatter windows so close blinds or window shades in an attempt to reduce the amount of glass that might blow inside. Stay away from skylights and doors.
- Good tree pruning can prevent many problems associated with a hail storm. Prompt removal of diseased, damaged, or dead plant parts helps reduce the possibility of future storm damage.
- Plan ahead. If a storm is forecast, park your car in a garage or carport. If you don’t have a covered parking spot, consider a specially designed car cover to minimize vehicle damage.
- In a severe storm, avoid parking under trees as branches could fall on your vehicle.
- If you have to leave your car outside, cover it with a thick blanket to minimize hail’s impact.
Of course, you should ensure that you have sufficient insurance on your home and car to cover the cost of hail damage, should any occur.
Severe weather events are on the rise, so make sure you’re prepared for the worst.