Hailstorms – One Hail of a Problem

Hail is a very real threat to property owners, causing extensive property damage every year to residences and much more. It can range from the size of a pea to the size of a softball, and records tell of hailstones that are even bigger than that. When hail and strong wind combine, it’s a pretty dangerous combination. Here are some things about hail that you should know, especially if you’re debating pursuing an insurance claim over hail-related damage.

Damaged by Hail? You’re Not Alone!

Believe it or not, hail packs a ridiculously costly punch every year. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hail “can cause injuries and significant financial losses due to property and crop damages.” As this says, hail is a problem for everyone, drivers, residents, property owners, business owners and farmers too. Falling hail can severely damage, if not ruin crops, especially freshly planted ones. At the same time, hail damages siding, breaks windows, dents and cracks roofing and riddles cars with dents and other damage. It’s no laughing matter.

NOAA provides numbers and statistics to back this. According to them, a series of storms over six days in 2001 caused $1.9 billion in damage from Pennsylvania to Texas. In 2003, another three day event caused $1.6 billion in property and agricultural damage stretching across Texas to Tennessee. If you look at recent reports from the National Weather Service, there have been hailstorms reported this year across the nation. On March 25, 2015, severe weather including significant hail grounded planes at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.

But how serious is serious? According to NOAA, any hail ranging over the size of a penny, or 3/4ths of an inch, is considered “severe.” Hailstones can average much larger than that; all the way up to softball sized, classified at around 4.5 inches wide. Science has shown that hailstones start as high as 30,000 feet in the sky and reach speeds of up to 120 mph before they get to their unfortunate destination. Some of us get mad if our car is hit by a snowball—compared to a hailstone, that’s nothing.

So, when you’re damaged by hail, let us help you recuperate. We’re used to dealing with insurance companies and we’re used to effectively answering the questions that they use to defer and minimize the compensation on a claim. But where does it come from? How do these kingpins of the clouds get so large, powerful and out of control?

A Hail of a Lot of Science

Hail can come from a wide range of weather events, including blizzards, thunderstorms and high wind events such as hurricanes or tornadoes. Rain droplets and half-frozen rain droplets are caught in an “updraft” of cold air high up in the atmosphere where air is naturally much colder. This constant updraft keeps the moisture from falling to the ground, and with winds exceeding 100 mph, it’s easy to see why.

As these ice particles get repeatedly thrown through this updraft, more moisture clings to them, until they are so big and heavy that they get flung from the updraft current or fall through it. Remember, scientists show that this process happens as high as 30,000 feet or almost 6 miles up in the air. Baseball-sized hailstones on average reach speeds of more than 100mph. Anything getting hit by that is going to be damaged, whether it’s your home, your car or your crops.

Learn How to Protect Yourself from Hail

Learn the warning signs of a possible hail storm. If your area suffers from tornadoes, or if there is a tornado warning, there’s a chance that hail could occur. When the warning signs of a tornado start appearing, it’s important to safeguard yourself. Stay clear from windows. If possible, close curtains and blinds to minimize any damage inside. Bring any vehicles or glass/porcelain valuables inside and away from the storm. If you have plants, you can attempt to cover them with a tarp or something else to try and mitigate the damage.

Severe thunderstorms are also known to carry the threat of hailstorms with them. The National Weather Service classifies as “severe” any thunderstorm producing winds exceeding 58 mph or hail exceeding 3/4th inches in diameter or more. If your property of any kind incurs hail damage during an event like this, your insurance policy should cover it—don’t let your claim be denied or significantly reduced by an insurance company employee!

When hail strikes, come to us first. We’ll help you through the whole process and make sure that you’re fairly compensated. Claims adjusters from insurance companies are trained to reduce the amount of money you receive on your claim. Hire an independent public adjuster from AAA Public Adjusters. Call us today nationwide at 1.800.410.5054, we offer complimentary consultations and emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round.