Hail Damage Safety Tips Your Customers Need To Know
CoreLogic, a leading property info, analytics, and services provider, recently shed light on the phenomenon of hail damage throughout the United States and the surprising ways that it can manifest and affect insurance customers.
Borne from convective storms, which also produce strong winds, tornadoes, and heavy rains with localized flooding, hail damage can cause significant amounts of damage to homes and other property every year. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, estimates the annual price tag at about $1 billion “to crops and property,” CL notes.
One April 2014 storm in Denton, Texas, featured high winds reaching up to 82 miles per hour and hail ranging in sizes “from penny to baseball.” The Insurance Council of Texas estimated total damages at $300 million in insured losses — this included damages to both automobiles and buildings. That initial estimate was later revised to $500 million with approximately 35,000 automobiles and 22,000 homes affected.
And according to CoreLogic, large hail size has little bearing on the amount of damages caused.
In the Denton storm, “nearly half” of the affected homes (47 percent) “were located in areas receiving hail smaller than one-and-a-half inches in diameter.”
The report adds: “The vast majority of the remaining 30,000 homes (37.3 percent) were impacted by hail that was at least one-and-a-half inches but less than two inches in diameter. A total of 15.7 percent of the homes were located in areas in which hail greater than two inches in diameter was recorded.”
While one would think larger hail did more damage, the findings indicate otherwise, probably because claimants have a false sense of security. If the forecast calls for larger hail, they’re more likely to find shelter for their automobiles, where if the hail is expected to be smaller in size, they’re not as concerned.
To help protect your insurance customers from being affected by hail damage, here are some helpful tips that you can pass along to them.
- Get weather reports as soon as you can concerning approaching storms.
- Find shelter, be it a carport, garage, or some type of overhead cover that might take you out of the path of the storm.
- If in your home, close all the drapes, blinds, and shades to prevent or minimize broken glass spilling into your domicile.
- Following the storm, evaluate your roof damage, if any, and take action to prevent additional deterioration.
- Be on the lookout for other serious weather events. Wherever there is hail, there is usually the threat of tornadoes, so get to a safe place within your home to ride out the storm. Safe rooms work best, but if you don’t have one, then locate somewhere in the center of the house away from glass or windows.
- Stay informed. If you have electronic devices, make sure they’re capable of operating free of an outlet. A battery-powered weather radio can be just as good if you don’t have cell service reception.
- Create a crisis plan for your home or office to ensure that everyone knows what to do as weather worsens.
To help your customers control their costs, limit their claims, and stay safe, make sure they have the knowledge to respond to weather crises. Not only will you help them achieve all of these benefits, but you’ll also build a bond that they will remember for future insurance needs.