Why Hail?

Hail can occur in any strong thunderstorm, which means hail is a threat everywhere. When it hits, it can shred roof coverings and lead to water damage to your ceilings, walls, floors, appliances, furnishings and contents.

Significant hailstorms result in millions—and sometimes billions—of dollars in damages to commercial roofs, siding, and outdoor and roof-mounted equipment.

Fast Facts about Hail

  • There are about 3,000 hailstorms in the U.S. every year.
  • The National Weather Service reported that hail caused approximately $1.29 billion in annual damage from 2010–2014.
  • Events involving wind, hail or flood accounted for $21.4 billion in insured catastrophe losses in 2014 dollars from 1994 to 2014 (not including payouts from the National Flood Insurance Program), according to Property Claim Services.
  • States with the largest number of severe hail events reported in 2015 were:
    • Texas
    • Kansas
    • Nebraska
    • Oklahoma
    • South Dakota
  • There were 5,411 major hailstorm reports in 2015, according to NOAA’s Severe Storms database, with the largest number of severe hail storms occurring in:
    • June (1,324 storms)
    • April (1,193 storms)
    • May (881 storms)
  • A 2014 report issued by Verisk shows that from 2000–2013, U.S. insurers paid almost 9 million claims for hail losses, totaling more than $54 billion, with 70% of those losses occurring 2008–2013.
  • The Verisk report also shows that in addition to the higher number of claims, the average claim severity from 2008–2013 was 65% higher than from 2000–2007.

IBHS Hail Research Program

  • As billion dollar hailstorms become more common and insurer losses continue mounting year after year, IBHS initiated a long-term, ground-breaking research program focusing on hail.
  • The program includes three components:
    • Field research
    • Testing in the large test chamber using full-scale buildings
    • Testing building components in the hail lab
  • Primary objectives of IBHS hail research are:
    • Reducing property losses
    • Improving weather forecast models and radar detection of hail
  • Specifically, IBHS’ hail research initiative will:
    • Investigate the impact of aging on the performance of building materials when subjected to hail impacts.
    • Document differences between cosmetic and structural damage—and provide insights and guidance about best practices when it comes to evaluating, as well as repairing and replacing building components exposed to hail.
    • Help people who manage and evaluate different types of risk, including high winds and hail, to understand how various building materials, systems and types of roof covers are vulnerable to hail damage.

More About Hail