What the…..? Hail in Florida!
The Sunshine State and golf ball-size hail go together like hot sauce on ice cream (a taste treat some might think is not a bad idea….). Parts of South Florida got hit with the unfamiliar icy pounding last week, when hail damage was reported in six states. Hail hit Orlando hard last month, bringing almost a foot of slushy melting crystals and turning the earth into a winter wonderland, of sorts, over the Easter weekend. The last time such a large hailstorm hit the area was in 1992.
Damage from hail causes about $1 billion dollars a year in losses to crops and property. Most people don’t think of Florida as a “hail state,” but it is ranked #3 nationally in average claim severity, which is the average cost of a loss. Insurers paid out over $54 billion dollars in insurance losses for hail losses from 2000-2013. That’s about 9 million claims – and a report shows the number of claims and overall costs are increasing.
Hail damage is covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. If you had damage and made a temporary repair, such as boarding up a window, keep your receipts. The cost is part of the claim and you could be reimbursed for it. If your car got pelted with hailstones, that is covered under the comprehensive portion on an auto insurance policy. Here are some tips for filing an auto insurance claim.
NOAA has a chart showing the probability of great balls of hail for Florida. Typically, peak season for hailstorms is in the summertime. These hail hits in March and April show that climatology doesn’t care about the calendar.