Tag Archives: Hail

IBHS CEO Impact Report: Do hail Impacted Rated shingles measure up?

By Roy Wright, President & CEO, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

High-performing impact-resistant shingles can prevent avoidable damage caused by hail attacking roofs. Consumers should have confidence that products labeled as “impact resistant” live up to their expectations. This is the predicate for the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s (IBHS) groundbreaking work to improve roof performance against hail.

One month ago, IBHS reached an institutional milestone by releasing the IBHS Hail Impact Test Protocol for Asphalt Shingles—a new test method that uses best-available science for predicating performance of asphalt shingles when exposed to hailstorms. This is the first performance scorecard rating of eight asphalt shingle products labeled as impact resistant. By bringing together years of work in the field and in the lab, IBHS continues to be a leader in the hail research space.

IBHS’s new test standard combines the results of lab and field work that advanced industry understanding of hailstone mass, strength, and kinetic energy. Applying those findings allows us to manufacture hailstones in our lab and mimic the way natural hail attacks a roof. We assess damage from the top side of the shingle – the same way a claims adjuster would – and use artificial intelligence along with experts to evaluate the performance range.

 

Hail Cannon Testing. Photo courtesy of IBHS

Yet this milestone is just the beginning. The IBHS Hail Impact Performance program is poised to drive change and innovation across industries for years to come.

With the performance of eight products now rated and released, three new products are already at the IBHS Research Center in Richburg, South Carolina awaiting testing at the specific request of the relevant product manufacturers. These new arrivals demonstrate our commitment to ongoing testing of new products brought to the market. In addition, we are committed to retest products every two years, ensuring performance scorecards remain up to date and offering manufacturers the chance to improve product offerings based on our results.

Exclusively for the member-companies supporting the IBHS mission, we have provided a data set that expands on what is publicly available and provides greater quantitative insights and relative consumer price comparisons. We answered questions live during a Hail Impact Standard Question and Answer webinar for the IBHS Members as we strive to help put this data to work for the insurance industry.

Roofing manufacturers have actively engaged with our research team throughout the development and release processes and continue to be engaged. Some have been excited to share the results while others look forward to the next round of testing. Each manufacturer has been on our research center campus observing testing, asking questions, and striving to put their product at the top. Since the release last month, we have already had manufacturers back at the research center talking with our researchers and continuing to push for improvement.

IBHS research is inspiring conversations to drive shingle performance forward, and that will pay dividends to the Members of IBHS, to the insurance industry, and to consumers. These conversations, initiated by the performance data, are only possible with the commitment IBHS, and IBHS Members, have made to resiliency. And these very same conversations are stimulating awareness of impact-resistant shingle performance in order to improve shingles and to inform consumers of their options.

Through this new work, we are showing the insurance industry and consumers which products live up to those expectations of resilience.

 

 

Are impact-resistant roof shingles all they’re cracked up to be? The IBHS is on the case

Getty Images

By Jennifer Ha, Head of Editorial and Publications, Insurance Information Institute 

Hail damage is a growing problem in large regions of the United States and causes about $1 billion in damage to crops and property each year, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As such, after years of field and lab research, the Insurance Institute for Business Home and Safety (IBHS) has recently released the results of its first hail impact performance program—the IBHS Impact Resistance Test Protocol for Asphalt Shingles—designed to track impact-resistant roofing products and to demonstrate the IBHS performance standard for impact-resistant shingles.

To test its standard, IBHS bought the most widely purchased impact-resistant shingles available to consumers and tested them in its lab under simulated real-world conditions, which it has now published on its website. The site includes disclosures, test standards and Member-only data.

Hail damage to property is averaging $10 billion per year

Hailstorms have grown more destructive in recent years, causing up to $10 billion per year in damage. The reasons range from larger homes being built, to more homes being built in vulnerable places, to the rising costs of roofing materials, according to a recent Washington Post article.

The first North American Workshop on Hail and Hailstorms is happening this week (August 14- 16) in Boulder, Colorado. The group will discuss the rising costs of hail damage, and 200 experts from the fields of meteorology, engineering, economics and insurance are attending. These experts will work together to better detect hail; the microphysics and dynamics of hailstorms; the cost of damage and how to mitigate it; and the likely effects of a changing climate on hailstorms.

The I.I.I. has facts and statistics on hail damage here.

Hail Spring

Source: Farmers Insurance

As those us who are shoveling out from Winter Storm Toby can confirm, the first days of spring don’t always mean warm weather and budding flowers. Instead, the arrival of spring can be accompanied by blizzards, flooding and hail storms.

Farmers Insurance has recently analyzed five years’ worth of auto insurance claims data to come up the top 10 states for hail damage to cars – Montana, Colorado and Kansas are at the top of the list.

Farmers’ data also shows that in the spring season hail accounts for 58 percent of all comprehensive auto claims and water and flooding accounts for 38 percent of comprehensive claims. An interesting fact –  32 percent of collision claims due to a car door opening into traffic occur in spring!

For more on property losses due to hail damage see the I.I.I.’s Facts + Statistics: Hail

May severe weather: multi-billion dollar insurance payout aids recovery

Severe weather across the United States in May resulted in combined public and private insured losses of at least $3 billion.

Aon Benfield’s latest Global Catastrophe Recap report reveals that central and eastern parts of the U.S. saw extensive damage from large hail, straight-line winds, tornadoes and isolated flash flooding during last month’s storms.

The most prolific event? A May 8 major storm in the greater Denver, Colorado metro region, where damage from softball-sized hail resulted in an insured loss of more than $1.4 billion in the state alone.

Check out I.I.I. facts and statistics on hail here. The National Weather Service has detailed information on severe storm events, including hail, tornadoes and wind. 2016 data on the number of hail events are posted online.

Total aggregated economic losses from U.S. severe weather in May were in excess of $4 billion, Aon Benfield said.

How to protect crops and property from hail

Damage to vineyards following several years of severe hailstorms in the famed wine-growing region of Burgundy, France, is prompting greater prevention efforts.

London’s Daily Telegraph reports that producers are protecting their entire grape harvest with a cloud-seeding system—a hi-tech hail shield that is designed to modify storm clouds and suppress hail formation.

The system works by releasing tiny particles of silver iodide into the clouds where they stop the formation of hail stones, thereby reducing the risk of damage.

Cloud-seeding, or weather modification, has been used for many years in parts of the United States and Canada not just to suppress hail, but to enhance rainfall and snowfall in some cases. Insurers are involved in the research.

This makes sense. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, hail causes approximately $1 billion in damage to crops and property annually.

A monster hailstorm that pounded Colorado’s Front Range on May 8 is on pace to be Colorado’s most expensive insured catastrophe, with an estimated preliminary insured loss of $1.4 billion, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

For auto, home and business owners living in hail-prone areas, taking steps to minimize hail damage to property is essential.

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), is continuing a major multi-year research study into hailstorms. IBHS resources on preventing property losses are available here.

Industry Well-Prepared to Weather Hail Damage

Hail claims are making headlines following multiple springtime hailstorms in Texas, including one in the San Antonio region that is expected to be the largest hailstorm in Texas history.

While the estimated insured losses from the storms—$1.3 billion and climbing from two storms that hit the Dallas-Fort Worth region in March; as yet not estimated (but expected to be worse) insured losses from a third storm in the Dallas-Fort Worth region April 11; plus a further $1.36 billion early estimate of insured losses from the San Antonio storm April 12—may seem high, property insurers are well-prepared to handle such events.

In a new briefing, ratings agency A.M. Best says it expects limited rating actions to result as affected property/casualty insurers are expected to maintain sufficient overall risk-adjusted capitalization relative to their existing financial strength ratings.

Which insurers will be most affected?

A.M. Best explains that for property insurers, in particular in property lines of business, losses are expected to stem from broken windows and roof damage. This will have an impact on underwriting performance and overall earnings.

Companies with a heavy concentration of automobile physical damage will also have significant losses.

However, for property insurers the increased use of actual cash value (ACV) for roof repairs, increased deductibles, and improved risk management strategies will help limit the amount of the ultimate claim payment, A.M. Best explains.

The impact on most auto physical damage insurers is also expected to be mitigated given the generally large economies of scale of major writers in the market, A.M. Best adds.

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.35.12 AM

So, while the Texas hailstorm damage is poised to exceed the nine-year average of $1.2 billion for the United States, most insurers are well-capitalized and able to handle these severe weather events.

Nevertheless, as A.M. Best says:

“The volatile weather is a harsh reminder of the damages a property and casualty writer can be exposed to and the need for companies to continue to practice prudent and evolving risk management.”

Check out this review of research and testing related to hail damage by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

The Insurance Information Institute also has some handy statistics on hail here.

U.S. Dominates March Catastrophe Claims

A reminder of the impact of severe thunderstorms is evident in March catastrophe estimates, with seven separate events across the country resulting in several billion dollars of insured losses.

Aon Benfield’s March Global Catastrophe Recap noted that overall economic losses sustained to property, infrastructure and agriculture across the U.S. from the convective storm and flood damage were anticipated to approach $3.5 billion.

Insured losses incurred by public and private insurance entities were tentatively estimated at $2.0 billion. (Presumably, that number includes estimated payouts by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.)

More than 1,000 individual reports of tornadoes, damaging straight-line winds and hail were recorded by the Storm Prediction Centre, while torrential rains also led to significant riverine and flash flooding in the Lower Mississippi River Valley.

Among the hardest-hit states was Texas, Aon Benfield said, where events during consecutive weeks of greater than golf ball-sized hail in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metro region led to more than 125,000 home and auto claim filings.

The Insurance Council of Texas has put preliminary estimated insured losses in the state at more than $1.1 billion alone.

Here’s the visual on March catastrophe losses in the U.S.:

UnitedStatesMarchCatastropheLosses

Artemis blog mentions that Impact Forecasting estimates for insured or reinsured losses in the U.S. in the first-quarter of 2016 from severe and winter weather now total $4.48 billion.

“Globally the figure is $5.82 billion, again demonstrating the importance of the U.S. property catastrophe insurance and reinsurance market.”

In its must-read facts and statistics on hail, the Insurance Information Institute notes that 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 Verisk’s Property Claim Services.

Information about how to reduce hail damage to businesses and homes is available from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety website here and here.

Hail Claims Add Up During April

We’re reading about the economic and insurance impact of severe thunderstorms in the United States in April 2015, as reported by Aon Benfield’s latest Global Catastrophe Recap report.

Five separate thunderstorm events in central and eastern parts of the U.S. caused expected insured losses of $2 billion, including more than $750 million from one event alone.

What was the $750 million event?

A widespread multi-day severe weather outbreak that hit central and eastern parts of the U.S. from April 7-10, leaving at least 3 dead and dozens injured.

Major damage was noted across the Plains, Midwest and the Mississippi Valley following 25 confirmed tornado touchdowns, grapefruit-sized hail, damaging straight-line winds, and flooding rains, according to Aon.

The April 9 EF4 tornado that devastated the communities of Fairdale and Rochelle, Illinois, is part of this event.

Total economic losses were estimated at $1 billion, while insurers put losses beyond $750 million.

Interestingly, Aon notes that much of the insured losses in this severe weather event were driven by claims resulting from hail.

The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has some useful facts and statistics on hail here.

It cites ISO figures that indicate events involving wind, hail or flood accounted for $16.1 billion in insured catastrophe losses in 2013 dollars from 1994 to 2013 (not including payouts from the National Flood Insurance Program).

The I.I.I. also notes that there were 5,536 major hail storms in 2014, per statistics culled from NOAA’s Severe Storm database. Nebraska had the largest number of severe hail events in 2014, followed by Texas, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.

Over the 14 years from 2000 to 2013, U.S. insurers paid almost 9 million claims for hail losses, totaling more than $54 billion, according to a recent report by Verisk Insurance Solutions. That’s a hail of an impact.

All Hail the Data

A report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has revealed that insurance claims resulting from hailstorm damage in the United States increased by a whopping 84 percent from 2010 to 2012.

In 2010, there were 467,602 hail damage claims filed, but by 2012 that number had  jumped  to 861,597.

All told, over two million hail damage claims were processed from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012, the NICB said.

Perhaps not surprisingly the top five states generating hail damage claims during this period were Texas (320,823); Missouri (138,857); Kansas (126,490); Colorado (118,118) and Oklahoma (114,168).

“Personal Property Homeowners† (PPHO) was the policy type most affected by hail loss claims, with 1.3 million, or 64 percent of the total number of hail loss claims between 2010 and 2012.

On average, PPHO policies were represented more than twice as often as the next most popular policy type, personal automobile.

NICB points out that most of the hail loss claims occurred in the spring and summer months, between March and July, likely due to increased numbers of thunderstorms during this period.

So far, large hail reports posted to NOAA’s National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center site in 2013 appear to show that hailstorm activity is down from 2012. See below:

 

While the NICB report focuses just on hail claims, it’s worth adding that severe thunderstorms in the U.S., including tornadoes, resulted in $14.9 billion in insured losses in 2012, more than $25 billion in insured losses in 2011, and $9.5 billion in insured losses in 2010, according to Munich Re.

In the first-half of 2013, insured losses from thunderstorm events exceeded $6 billion, Munich Re said.