Have you ever had a day where you start with a beautiful sunny day, as you drive to work the sun is shining, the clouds are spread evenly, and the skies are clear? You get to work and there is a small pang in your heart because you can’t help but think about all the fun things you could be doing in the brilliance of outside? As normal, you start your day at work and then you decide to take your break. You walk outside, wanting to take advantage of the beautiful day you left outside, but now it’s overcast and windy. The skies are dark, and the clouds are bright and heavy. Anxiety fills you up as you think thoughts of: Did I leave the windows open? Are the animals outside? Have I trimmed that big tree outside lately? Is my car remotely covered? Is it going to come in sideways or direct? How big are these cubes going to fall? These are just a sample of the thoughts that flood the mind of someone when hail strikes quickly.
According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming usually have the highest number of hailstorms in the United States each year. These states meet in the area known as “hail alley” and average seven to nine hail days per year. If you live in “hail alley” providing care and coverages for your home and auto, along with simply maintaining your home for the hail season is incredibly important.
When considering insurance for hail, most homeowners' insurance policies will cover hail damage. If for some reason your homeowners' policy doesn’t cover hail, speak with your local agent, and discuss coverages that are available to you to cover hail damage. With auto insurance, full coverage insurance will cover damages, usually included with a small deductible. Having your home insured is a safety measure that shouldn’t be ignored, but of course there are methods of home maintenance that encourage a longer span of time between the need to use your insurance policies.
The first action is to ensure that your roof is in good condition. When necessary, missing sections of the roof due to past storms, leaks and cracks should be replaced and repaired as soon as possible. Steep sloped roofs, on average, experience less damage to hailstorms than low-sloped roofs, as there is less direct space to tear up when the hail lands.
If you have skylights on your home, consider selecting impact-rated skylights that meet FM approved standards, also known as large missile impact ratings. This important because large sized hail can be detrimental to glass that is easy to hit from falling impacts. Contractors approve of this suggestion, along with promoting fiber-cement siding where the aluminum and vinyl siding would otherwise be used, because it is more resilient to hail damage.
When home, always remember to go around your home, checking that all drapes, blinds, and window shades are closed for safety. Of course, always make sure doors and windows are closed, as well. If there is time before the storm truly hits, try to hide your car the best that you can. If you have a garage, bring the cars into the garage until you are sure that the storm has passed. If you don’t have full coverage for your car, try parking it under coverage provided by nature or overhangs of your property. One of the most used methods of nature’s coverage would be the trees near your home. If you have covers for your car, a blanket or sheet, you can always cover your car with that to help the body of your car, breaking the impact.
Hail is dangerous, and in many scenarios hits fast. Thankfully, it doesn’t usually last long in the span of time. While it can’t be avoided completely, as an act of nature, there are actions you can take to help prevent damage to your home and vehicle, and insurance coverage options that can help make those repairs when the storm simply overpowers your prevention. Always remember to check with your local insurance agent to review the coverages that are provided in your policies and to ensure that you have all that you need lined up for when nature packs up an icy punch.