Facts + Statistics: Hail

Hail causes billions of dollars in damage to crops and property each year. Events involving wind, hail or flood accounted for $29.7 billion in insured catastrophe losses in 2016 dollars from 1996 to 2016 (not including payouts from the National Flood Insurance Program), according to Property Claim Services (PCS®), a Verisk Analytics® business.

There were 5,382 major hailstorms in 2019, according to the NOAA’s Severe Storms database. In 2018,  4,610 major hailstorms occurred, resulting in $810 million in property and crop damage.

Damage caused by wind and hail cost State Farm and its policyholders more than $2.7 billion in 2018, according to a March 2019 analysis by the insurer. Colorado was the state with the most wind/hail losses, followed by Texas, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri.

Top Five States By Number Of Major Hail Events, 2019 (1)


Rank State Number of hail events
1 Texas 872
2 Kansas 538
3 Nebraska 430
4 South Dakota 302
5 Colorado 294
  United States   5,392

(1) Hailstones one inch in diameter or larger.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Storm Prediction Center, National Weather Service.

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Hail Fatalities, Injuries And Damage, 2014-2018 (1)


Year Fatalities Injuries Property damage
($ millions)
Crop damage
($ millions)
Total damage
($ millions)
2014 0 23 $1,416.9 $293.2 $1,710.1
2015 0 0 586.0 133.0 719.0
2016 0 21 3,512.7 23.7 3,536.4
2017 0 14 1,722.2 59.5 1,781.8
2018 0 11 722.8 87.4 810.2

(1) Includes the 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service.

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Property hail claims

An August 2014 report issued by Verisk Insurance Solutions showed that in the 14 years from 2000 to 2013 U.S. insurers paid almost 9 million claims for hail losses, totaling more than $54 billion. Most of those losses—70 percent—occurred during the last six years of that period. In addition to the higher number of claims, the average claim severity during those six years was 65 percent higher than the period 2000 through 2007. Verisk’s 2014 report ranks states from 2000 to 2013 by annual claim severity and by annual claims loss per year. When ranked by claim severity, not one of the states in “hail alley”—Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming—is represented. The second ranking, by average claims loss per year, is a better representation of states that are more likely to have large hail losses and includes Oklahoma, Illinois and Kansas, which are typically known as hail states. Only two states, Minnesota and Ohio, are represented in both the chart for average claim severity and for average claims loss per year.

Verisk’s latest report, Hail: The Hidden Risk, says that more than 10.7 million properties in the United States were affected by one or more damaging hail events in 2017. Verisk describes hail as damaging when the hailstones are greater than an inch in diameter. The number of properties affected in 2017 was lower than the 12.6 million properties affected in 2016 and 12.4 million in 2014, and the same as in 2015, as shown in the chart below.

Estimated U.S. Properties Affected By Hail, 2013-2017 (1)


(1) Defined as affected when hailstones are greater than one inch in diameter.

Source: ©2018 Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) and Verisk. Reprinted with permission from ISO. Further reprint prohibited without permission from ISO.

Verisk’s research found that about 30 percent of hail claims have an error in the date of loss, and about half of those hail claims were made a year or more after the event took place, because the damage most often strikes the roof which is not inspected by homeowners often.

Texas had the largest number of properties that experienced one or more damaging hail events in 2017, with 1.3 million properties, followed by Illinois with 872,000 and Missouri with 833,000.

Top 10 States By Number Of Properties Experiencing Damaging Hail Events, 2017 (1)


Rank State Estimated number of
properties affected
Percentage of
properties affected
1 Texas 1,349,374 18%
2 Illinois 872,087 24
3 Missouri 832,525 46
4 Minnesota 737,375 44
5 Oklahoma 644,803 55
6 Kansas 513,941 57
7 Indiana 456,215 18
8 Virginia 400,529 16
9 North Carolina 400,248 10
10 Colorado 374,435 22

(1) Verisk considers hail to be damaging when the hailstones are greater than 1 inch in diameter.

Source: ©2018 Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) and Verisk. Reprinted with permission from ISO. Further reprint prohibited without permission from ISO.

Automotive claims

A 2016 Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study quantified hail-related claims under automobile insurance comprehensive coverage, based on an analysis of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and HLDI data for 2008 to 2014. Hail claims from 31 companies were studied, and results were based on more than 1.5 million claims. The insurers in this sample paid $5.37 billion in total hail claims from 2008 to 2014. The actual payout by all insurers was estimated by HLDI to be $7.26 billion. HLDI’s results found a frequency of 3.2 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years during the study period and a claim severity of $3,428. 2011 had the highest claim frequency, 4.3, while 2014 had the highest claim severity, $4,169. The states with the highest claim frequencies over the years 2008 to 2014 were South Dakota and Nebraska.

Top 10 States By Highest Hail Claim Frequency, 2008-2014


Rank State Hail claim frequency
1 South Dakota 26.5
2 Nebraska 19.1
3 Oklahoma 18.4
4 Kansas 16.5
5 Wyoming 15.2
6 Montana 11.8
7 Colorado 10.0
8 Missouri 9.3
9 Iowa 7.6
10 Texas 6.7

Source: Highway Loss Data Institute.

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