People residing in countries with heavy rain seasons have to deal with the constant threat of hail damage each year. The term hail refers to the irregular formation of precipitation where, instead of water, small lumps of ice fall to the ground. Now, depending on its size, hail can be quite damaging, especially to crops and vehicles.
As such, this article is meant to paint a clearer picture of hail occurrence in the US by using a series of hail damage statistics collected from different sources. The main topics that we will discuss include, but are not limited to, the states with the most hail damage, hail fatalities, as well as hail damage in regards to property and automobile insurance. Hopefully, this article will help put the current situation into perspective, while also providing you with tips on how to stay safe from any potential hailstone damage and protect yourself in the event of a major hail occurrence.
Jaw-Dropping Hail Damage Statistics and Facts
- Texas represents the US state with the most hailstorms and the highest amount of annual hail damage.
- According to the official Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s most fatal hailstorm took place in India, in April 1988, killing 246 people.
- In 2016, over 12.6 million US properties were affected by hail damage.
- Between 2008 and 2014, US insurers paid roughly $5.37 billion for auto insurance claims, according to hail data.
- The highest claim frequency was recorded in 2011 with 4.3 claims per 1,000 insured automobiles in the US due to hail damage.
Recent Major Hail Events
Here’s a list containing all the major hail events that took place in the US, over the past few years:
- Minnesota, 2017
Reports indicate that this storm lasted for an entire week; the population of Minnesota had to endure severe hailstorms alongside strong winds. The storm affected Texas, Virginia, and New York as well. However, the Minneapolis area was affected the most. Hail damage statistics show over $2.5 billion dollars’ worth of property damage overall.
- Colorado, 2017
This storm is regarded as one of the strongest to ever hit the US, given the huge size of the hailstones. Property damage was recorded mostly for vehicles, roofs, homes, and windows. Reports indicate that this storm caused roughly $2.3 billion dollars’ worth of damage.
- Texas, 2016
This storm is known for its grapefruit-sized hailstones which managed to inflict heavy damage to cars, windows, roofs, and homes. Reports indicate that $1.4 billion was recorded in damage. The storm took place during the hail season in Texas.
Here’s a list containing all the major hail events that took place in Europe, over the past few years:
- Serbia, 2016
This hailstorm was also associated with strong winds and occurred near Belgrade, the Serbian capital. Hailstones were reported to be as big as baseballs, whereas the actual cost of the damage remains unknown. Hail data points towards damage worth a few million euros.
- Bulgaria, 2014
This particular storm occurred in Eastern Europe with damages over 50 million euros, as local statistics reveal. According to the report, mostly homes, roofs, and vehicles in the Bulgarian capital were affected.
- Germany, 2013
This was a particularly dangerous storm, perhaps one of the worst of its kind in modern German history. Bizarre natural phenomena lead to the occurrence of several hail storms all at once, causing 3.6 billion euros in damage, according to local authorities. Additionally, this hailstorm also led to the injury of over 70 people as reported by stats concerning hail deaths per year.
Here are some major hail events that took place in Asia, over the past couple of years:
- China, 2002
There is little to no data regarding the damage caused by this storm, yet we have access to official reports concerning deaths and injuries. Overall, it seems like the Hunan Province hailstorm killed 25 people and injuring hundreds more. This once again shows that hail storm deaths are quite common, unfortunately.
- Bangladesh, 1986
This statistic is somewhat older, yet still relevant for the Asian region seeing how during the storm 1-kilogram hailstones were falling out of the sky. Records show that some 92 people were reported dead, while thousands more were injured.
Here are some major hail events that took place in Oceania, over the last few years:
- Queensland, Australia, 2014
This storm is known for causing $1.1 billion worth of damage to numerous vehicles, houses, and buildings in Queensland due to large quantities of wind and hail. Reports also indicate that roughly 40 people were injured; luckily, no deaths were recorded.
- Perth, Western Australia
This particular hailstorm followed a long period of drought. In a matter of minutes, the Perth hailstorm damaged over 150,000 houses and tens of thousands of vehicles that weren’t placed in a garage. Additionally, the region also had to deal with power cuts, due to the damages to the electric grid, according to the Australian national hail report.
States with the Most Hail Damage
- A research study carried out by the Insurance Information Institute (III) revealed the top hailstorm-prone areas in the US:
|Rank||State||No. of Major Hail Events|
- The same III study composed a list highlighting the number of properties affected by damaging hail:
|Rank||State||No. of Affected Properties|
- According to the official Guinness Book of World Records website, it seems like the world’s most fatal hailstorm took place in India, during April 1988, killing 246 people
The International World Meteorological Organization compiled a list of the deadliest and most damaging hail storms to ever occur. Namely, the most devastating storm took place around the Moradabad area; the Uttar Pradesh region of India. People reported hailstones as big as oranges, a disturbing sight to say the least. Fixing hail damage after this storm was most certainly not an easy feat.
Source: Guinness World Records
- A hailstorm that took place in China during 1932 reportedly killed over 200 people
The exact data on this storm is difficult to come by, seeing how it took place many years ago when record-keeping wasn’t as advanced as it is today. Despite this, it is considered the world’s second-most severe hailstorm judging by the number of fatalities, according to our sources on hail facts and information.
- Approximately 200 people were reportedly killed during a hailstorm that took place in Roopkund India, over 1,000 years ago
Record keeping in 850 A.D. was almost non-existent, yet data on this hailstorm exists thanks to a discovery of a skeleton made in 1942 by a forest ranger.
- A hailstorm led to the death of 92 individuals in Bangladesh, back in 1986 according to hail information from that period
Archived data reveals that this storm was known for its massive hailstones, some of which weighed over 2 pounds. Hailstones this big would likely lead to massive material damages and injuries in today’s high-density urban areas.
- A massive storm reportedly led to the death of 1,000 British soldiers, during the Hundred Years’ War
Still, it’s important to keep in mind that in this case hailstones weren’t the only cause of death. Rather, the 1,000 fatalities were caused by a combination of several factors, including cold weather conditions, reduced visibility, war disease, enemies, and of course — hailstones. Thus, we can conclude that today’s hail events are considerably less severe.
Property Insurance and Hail Damage
- In 2016, over 12.6 million US properties were affected by hail damage
This represents the highest number during the 2013–2017 period. What’s more, the year 2014 is the first runner-up with 12.4 million damaged properties, followed by 2017 with 10.7 million damaged properties, and 2013 with only 8.1 million properties. As such, we can conclude that the severity of hailstorms varies from year to year. Likewise, hail damage repair services are bound to be a lucrative industry (in the long-term).
- From an insurance perspective, Oregon represents the state with the highest average claims loss for insurance companies
This is understandable given the fact that Oregon is often affected by severe hailstorms. Luckily, the number of hail-induced personal injuries has reduced within the last couple of years. However, the constant rise of average claims loss is bound to affect insurance policies in the future; $859,184,000 were reportedly lost between 2000 and 2013, according to hail USA stats.
- Here is a list of other states dealing with high average claim losses, according to statistical data presented by III
|Rank||State||Average Loss from Claims|
- Here is the list of US states with the highest average claim severity between 2000 and 2013, according to hail events statistics
|Rank||State||Average Severity of Insurance Claims|
- A recent study revealed that between 2016 and 2018, there were roughly 2.9 million lost claims for hail damage in the US
In other words, numerous insurance companies refused to honor claims regarding hail damage due to certain particularities involved with their contracts. People soon realized that finding a reputable insurance provider with specific hail damage coverage in writing was a necessity. Well, what’s happened has happened, but it is important that all of us prepare ourselves better for future events, including numerous hail storms of 2020.
Auto Insurance and Hail Damage
- Between 2008 and 2014, estimates indicate that US insurers paid roughly $5.37 billion for auto insurance claims
Over $5.37 billion in damages were recorded for US-based vehicles during 2008–2014. It’s worth noting that the total value of the claims was considerably higher, seeing paid out by insurers for various reasons such as lack of extended coverage or improper care. This study was conducted over a sample of 31 insurers, yet it is believed that the total amount paid out in claims by all insurers exceeds the $7 billion threshold. Therefore, it is best to know exactly when is hail season in the US.
- Reports indicate that 3.2 hail damage claims were reported for every 1,000 insured vehicles during 2008-2014
While this number isn’t huge, it does showcase that numerous Americans submit insurance claims, following hail storms. Claim frequency varies from year to year, yet it’s best to be insured before a natural event like this ends up damaging your vehicle; 3-inch hail is no joke!
- The average material damage to vehicles affected by hail was $3,428 between 2008 and 2014
This statistic once again demonstrates the importance of purchasing hail coverage, especially if you live in the US where hailstorm occurrence is significantly higher compared to other regions of the world.
- The highest claim frequency was recorded in 2011 with 4.3 claims per 1,000 insured automobiles in the US due to hail damage
As such, the Texas hail season definitely led to a serious amount of material damage during the year of 2011. On the other hand, the highest claim severity was recorded during the year 2014, when the average claim for vehicle hail damage was $4,149.
- A study concluded that between 2008 and 2014, the highest claim frequency for automotive damage was recorded in South Dakota, followed by Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming
Hail damage for cars was especially high in these states, judging how 26.5 claims were made for every 1,000 insured vehicles in South Dakota; 19.5 in Nebraska; followed by 18.4 in Oklahoma; 16.5 in Kansas; and 15.2 in Wyoming. Therefore, vehicle insurance that covers hail damage is mandatory in regions like these, since lack of coverage will likely lead to huge out-of-pocket costs.
Based on everything that has been outlined thus far in our hail damage statistics, we can deduce that this natural phenomenon is extremely adept at taking lives and causing serious injury. Luckily, the occurrence rates for deadly hail events have dropped significantly. Still, people nowadays deal with hail storms that result in steep material damages. Thus, it is essential for people living in these territories to insure their homes and vehicles, so as to reduce repair costs. Nevertheless, insurance contracts should be carefully read and only signed after a careful assessment of coverage policies.
Since the U.S. hail frequency is greatest during certain seasons (summer, for instance) individuals must secure coverage prior to being affected by these events
Frequently Asked Questions
How many cars are damaged by hail each year?
Over 3.2 per 1,000 vehicles claimed hail coverage in the US each year between 2008 and 2014. However, it is important to remember that these numbers only reflect how many claims were made during the said time-frame. If we choose to include minor material damage alongside hail damage for uninsured vehicles, the number would significantly increase. Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of cars are damaged by hail annually.
How common is hail damage?
Unfortunately, it is quite common. Current reports indicate that hail storms during 2017 damaged 10.7 million properties in the US; another 12.6 million properties were affected in 2016.
When does hail season end in Texas?
Weather studies show that in Texas, the hail season is most prevalent between May and September. However, real-life experiences showed hailstorms do not stick to a specific schedule, as one may expect.
Where is hail most common in the United States?
Hail alley represents a region located in Northeast Colorado, where hail is most frequent, according to weather statistics. Hail creation is encouraged by the location’s vicinity to the Rocky Mountains.
What size of hail will damage a car?
To be classed as severe, hail should fall consistently, and be at least 1 inch or larger in size. Mild hail can leave a few scratches on cars, yet it is a severe hail that does the most damage. Anyhow, it is best to make sure your car is covered as soon as hail starts, as predicting its size is quite difficult. Hail damage statistics report therefore getting insurance coverage might be a good plan if you live in an area where hail occurrence rates are high.