Are You in the Eye of the Storm?

iStock_000021082061XSmallIn a recent study cited by Property Casualty 360, the top 10 states for wind and hail damage were revealed. If you think you’re immune from the destructive damages caused by wind and hail, you might think twice if your state appears on this list. On the other hand, even if your state isn’t on the list, you should still be concerned. Part of the difficultly with these two perils is that they happen in every state and many more people are susceptible than believe they are. While you can’t avoid them completely, you can certainly prepare your home and insurance to deal with them when it happens.

One of the interesting things in the study is that it’s based on claims reported to the insurance company for 2012. What that means is it’s somewhat variable depending on wind and hail losses in a given year. Just because 2012 was particularly bad for certain states doesn’t mean those states will make the list in future years. Weather can be quite unpredictable so you always need to be prepared.

Another thing to consider with this particular study is that it’s based on claims compiled by the insurance company. This statistic leaves out all of the damages and losses that were uninsured in 2012. It’s entirely possible that some states had even more losses from wind and hail but they also had a large number of uninsured homeowners. Those homeowners’ claims would not be counted as they were not paid by insurance. Now that is definitely a statistic you do not want to be a part of.

So what can you do to prepare for high winds and hail storms? The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety recently completed an amazing indoor study of the effects of a hailstorm. To conduct this study, they actually recreated a hailstorm indoors in a controlled setting to understand the effects and help homeowners. Of course, this is a pretty sophisticated study, which means they didn’t just toss ice cubes at each other (readers, do not attempt this at home). Once the study has been fully completed and reviewed, we’ll be able to share the results with you.

In the meantime, common sense prevails when it comes to hailstorms. First and foremost, you need to protect yourself from any injury. Try to get indoors as quickly as possible and, if you are already indoors, make sure you are away from windows that can break and shatter. The same advice applies to times of heavy wind. With wind, you tend to have a bit more warning whereas hailstorms can start without any signs.

When it comes to preventing damage, there are now roof materials that are more resistant to hail damage than others. If you live in an area that is prone to hailstorms, you should definitely look into replacing your roof. If it’s not feasible to immediately make a change, you can certainly plan on using proper materials when it does come time for a roof update. As we recently pointed out in a blog post, some insurers have started resisting the repair of roofs that are only cosmetically damaged. If you can put a new one on that is safe from dings and divots, you might not have to worry about uncovered “cosmetic” damages.

Wind and hail are a reality of life that you need to understand and be aware of. Always ensure that your home insurance policy provides adequate coverage for damage and do everything you can to protect yourself and your home. Unlike disasters such as earthquakes which are more prone to certain areas, everyone is exposed to the potential of wind and hail damage. Therefore, there’s no excuse to think that it’s can’t happen to you.

Facebook Comments