Hail damage claims up 84 percent
Insurance claims for hailstorm damage jumped a whopping 84 percent in the last two years, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
In 2010, there were 467,602 hail damage claims filed. That number increased to 689,267 in 2011 and to 861,597 in 2012, an overall increase of 84 percent from 2010 to 2012, according to the NICB.
The majority of claims filed were for damage to homes (64 percent), followed by those for car damage (24 percent).
Auto policy claims in 2012 -- at 322,719 -- were more than six times greater than the number filed in 2010, at 51,345, according to the NICB.
Here were the states with the highest number of hail claims in 2012:
- Texas -- 150,474
- Missouri -- 91,981
- Kentucky -- 72,585
- Indiana -- 59,827
- Colorado -- 57,753
- Illinois -- 52,765
- Oklahoma -- 48,573
- Kansas -- 42,453
- Tennessee -- 41,192
- Minnesota -- 33,337
- Nebraska -- 24,385
Hail damage and homeowners insurance
Damage to a home from hail is typically covered under most standard home insurance policies. However, new homeowners shopping for a policy should be aware of a recently created exclusion for cosmetic hail damage.
The hail and wind exclusion, which insurance companies can choose to adopt or not, excludes payments for damage to exterior surfaces including walls, roofs, doors and windows from hail or wind if the storm impacts the appearance but not the function of these elements
Hail damage and car insurance
If your car is damaged by hail, you must have comprehensive coverage to file a claim. The Highway Loss Data Institute pegs the average claim for hail-related auto damage at $3,100. If your damage is less than that, it may not make sense to file a claim, given that the typical deductible for comprehensive coverage is $500 to $1,500.
Des Toups is a writer, editor and expert on insurance, cars and personal finance. He has written extensively about all three for national publications such as MSN and major newspapers such as the Seattle Times. He has been quoted about insurance issues in The New York Times, USA Today and Kiplinger's.
Follow him on Twitter @destoups