Facts + Statistics: Hail

Hail-related insured losses between 2000 and 2019 averaged between $8 billion to $14 billion a year, according to Aon. There were 4,611 major hailstorms in 2020, according to the NOAA’s Severe Storms database.

State Farm paid out over $3.1 billion in hail claims in 2020, according to an April 2020 analysis by the insurer. Texas was the state with the most hail claims paid for auto and home insurance, with $474.6 million in losses, followed by Illinois ($394.2 million), Minnesota ($259.2 million) and Missouri ($236.9).

Property hail claims

An August 2014 report issued by Verisk Insurance Solutions showed that from 2000 to 2013, U.S. insurers paid almost 9 million claims for hail losses, totaling more than $54 billion. Verisk describes hail as damaging when the hailstones are greater than an inch in diameter. 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 2018 report, Hail: The Hidden Risk, says that in 2017 more than 10.7 million properties in the United States were affected by one or more damaging hail events. The number of properties affected in 2017 was lower than the 12.6 million properties affected in 2016. Verisk’s report, U.S. Hail Damage Insights, shows that in 2019, more than 7.1 million U.S. properties were affected by one or more damaging hail events, resulting in losses of more than $13 billion. Verisk notes that the threat of hail damage has spread from the traditional “hail alley” states of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming northward through the Midwest, south toward the Gulf Coast and desert Southwest, and east toward Appalachia. Underwriting may be impacted by the fact that hail damage is more common than can be measured just by claims data. Property owners may not be aware of hail damage to their roofs. In addition, hail exposure also accelerates the aging and weathering of roofs. These factors may present a risk of insurers covering pre-existing damage under a new policy.

According to Verisk’s 2021 report, The Hail Hazard and Its Impact on Property Insurance, 6.2 million properties in the United States experienced one or more damaging hail events in 2020, about a million fewer than in 2019, reflecting the frequency fluctuations noted over the past 10 years. 2020 claims resulted in almost $14.2 billion in losses. Texas had the highest number of properties affected by hail, over 1.5 million properties, accounting for almost a quarter of total U.S. properties affected. Illinois followed with about a half-million properties affected, and Indiana ranked third with about 372,000 properties affected. Besides reiterating the spread of the hail peril into all states and the low frequency/high severity of hail occurring at irregular intervals, the report discusses the long tail aspect of hail losses due to the vulnerability of roofs to hail damage, which is often out of sight.

Top 10 States Ranked By Number of Hail Loss Claims, 2017-2019

 

Rank  State 2017-2019 Rank  State 2019
1 Texas  637,977 1 Texas  192,988
2 Colorado  380,066 2 Colorado  69,742
3 Nebraska  161,374 3 Nebraska  56,897
4 Minnesota  150,673 4 Kansas  50,737
5 Illinois  150,416 5 Minnesota  49,973
6 Kansas  147,793 6 Illinois  47,798
7 Missouri  133,704 7 Missouri  33,976
8 Iowa  113,139 8 North Carolina  25,026
9 Indiana  63,892 9 Iowa  19,744
10 North Carolina  58,342 10 Indiana  18,404

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau based on an analysis of data from ISO ClaimSearch®.

Top Five States By Number Of Major Hail Events, 2020 (1)

 

Rank State Number of hail events
1 Texas 601
2 South Dakota 377
3 Kansas 341
4 Olahoma   341
5 Nebraska 313
  United States 4,611

(1) Hailstones one inch in diameter or larger.

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

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