When hail strikes in a ferocious storm, it often doesn't last long. People quickly duck inside to wait it out. When they emerge, though, they may find lasting damage that poses an incredible financial cost. Even a short storm can be absolutely devastating for local property.
If you want to see what this impact looks like firsthand, let's look at the financial impact between 2013 and 2017. It's likely far more than you're expecting.
Four people suffered injuries from hail in 2013. It brought about property damage to the tune of $1,245.5 million. On top of that, there was crop damage of $75 million, for a total of $1,320.5 million.
All the numbers jumped in 2014. A full 23 people suffered injuries. Property damage increased to $1,416.9 million and crop damage went up to $293.2 million. That brought the total up to $1,710.1 million.
Conversely, 2015 saw a significant decrease. There were no reported injuries at all. The property damage totaled just $586 million. Crop damage added another $133 million, for a total of $719 million.
Things reversed direction again in 2016, when 21 people suffered injuries due to hail. Property damage absolutely soared to unprecedented heights, hitting $3,512.7 million. Crop damage was light, with just $23.7 million, but that still brought it up to a total of $3,536.4 million for the year.
In 2017, another 14 people suffered injuries due to hail, and property damage clocked in at $1,722.2 million. Crop damage added another $59.5 million. That brought the yearly total to $1,781.8 million.
These totals show you how things went in the previous few years, but these high costs are not a new issue. For instance, one report that came out in 2014 looked at the years running from 2000 to 2013. What it found was that more than $54 billion got paid out for hail damage from insurance companies.
The damage totals fluctuate from year to year, depending on where major storms strike and if property damage or crop damage. for instance, is involved. This also indicates if storms happened in rural or urban areas.
The key takeaway is that hail damage is serious and costly. It's something that you must take seriously if you fall victim to a storm.
If this does happen to you, the claims process can be complicated and intimidating. Make sure you fully understand the legal steps you need to take, what rights you have and how this process works moving forward.