Last August, softball sized hail bombarded Texas when severe weather storms traveled across the South. Storms move quickly but it is amazing the amount of damage that hail can leave behind.
Weather experts define severe hail as being at least 0.75 inches in diameter or roughly the size of a one cent coin. There is a triangular area from west Texas to northwest Missouri to the western Dakotas that averaged at least 0.5 days of severe hail between 2007 and 2010. These locations experience an average of one day per year when hail of various sizes reaches the ground, Texas and Oklahoma getting the most severe hail in the western parts of those states.
What many people living in west Texas may not realize is that preparation for this level of severity should be a priority. Making sure your home, vehicles, property, businesses, and surrounding areas are protected can save thousands of dollars in insurance costs and repairs.
Here are some easy to follow guidelines to ensure that your property is protected from damaging hailstorms and doesn’t become a statistic in the $1 billion in damages caused each year.
- Fully understand what your insurance covers and how much you need
- Be clear on your deductibles that you have chosen and adjust if needed
- Talk to your local independent agent to find out if you need a higher deductible for wind and hail damage than you do for other claims
- Inspect your roof prior to hail season and get any repairs completed.
- Repair or replace worn, curled or missing shingles.
- If you have an older roof (over 10 years) consider replacing it before hail season begins.
If you’re caught out in a hailstorm, know how to protect yourself and your vehicle. A severe hail stone can be as big as a grapefruit and fall at 50 to 100 miles per hour, so stay or get indoors.
If you are indoors, remember to:
- Stay away from skylights and glass doors to avoid broken glass.
- Close curtains or blinds to prevent fragments of debris from blowing inside.
- If possible, park your car in the garage or other covered area.
When it’s over and you discover you have hailstorm damage, contact your local independent insurance agent right away. They will give you the information you need as to what steps to take next. The important thing is to be prepared. Taking necessary precautions could save thousands of dollars in cost and possibly even a life.