According to insurance experts, 2019 is shaping up to be the worst year on record for hail damage in the United States. As of mid-April, there have already been 664 hailstorms reported, which is more than were reported in all of 2018. In addition, April, May and June are typically when most hailstorms occur, so this year's total will almost certainly increase.
Hail damage to people, livestock, homes, vehicles, crops and other forms of property now costs the U.S. economy around $22 billion each year. Hailstones the size of baseballs are increasingly common, and a half-pound hailstone the size of a grapefruit fell from the sky in Alabama earlier this year. While dime-sized hailstones can travel at up to 20 mph, one the size of a baseball can hit people, animals, or objects at up to 120 mph, causing major damage. Experts say it's rare for hail to kill people, but it can cause injuries. In fact, Texas experiences more hailstorms than any other state in the country, and its residents sometimes don football and cycling helmets to protect themselves when they see a storm coming. However, the biggest hailstorm casualties tend to be vehicles and homes, which often suffer damage to their windows and roofs.
According to a study, hail damage has trended steadily upward since 2014, reaching an all-time high in 2017. In addition, overall storm damage has been rising since the beginning of the 21st century. One cause for this could be global warming.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies refuse to pay for storm, hail, wind and rain damage. Policyholders who have been underpaid or denied coverage may find relief by contacting a law firm that handles property insurance claims. An attorney could review the situation and work to obtain a fair settlement on the client's behalf.