Hail

Protect your car and home from hail damage

Each year, Grinnell Mutual receives over 2,500 hail claims for damaged homes and cars. May through July is peak storm season for our policyholders, with June and July typically hitting hardest. Knowing how to prepare for a hailstorm to protect your home and vehicles could help you avoid the worst of the potential damage.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A HAILSTORM

While there is no such thing as “hail-proof” homes or cars, investing in some extra precautions can help minimize damage and potential harm to you and your family.

IN GENERAL:

  • Consider installing impact-resistant shingles.
  • Inspect your roof, gutters, and windows for any damages or weaknesses and repair accordingly.
  • Keep your trees and shrubbery well-trimmed. Remove any weak or dead branches.
  • Prepare an emergency kit, so you will not have to leave your home during a hailstorm.

BEFORE AN IMMEDIATE HAILSTORM:

  • Move outdoor items inside. Items such as patio furniture, toys, bikes, and garbage cans should be in a covered area. These items can be damaged from hailstones and cause additional property damage if they become airborne.
  • Park your car, RV, boats, or other recreational vehicles in a carport or garage. If you do not have a covered space or enough room, secure a tarp or blanket over your vehicles.

WHAT TO DO DURING A HAILSTORM

 

IF YOU'RE ON THE ROAD:

  • Adjust your driving. Turn on your low beams, drop your speed, and allow three times the usual distance to avoid a rear-end collision.
  • Do not stop underneath an overpass. You’ve probably heard this well-intentioned advice in the past but stopping underneath the overpass is actually extremely dangerous for two reasons. First, it may cause a gridlock, which may lead to an accident or block other drivers (such as ambulances) from passing. Second, hailstorms are often the byproduct of severe weather, such as tornadoes. Strong winds essentially funnel into overpasses with debris that can easily cause serious injuries or death.
  • Drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If a gas station is the closest, a gas station is where you should go.
  • Pull over and park. If you’re on a rural highway and are not near any shelter, pull over in a parking lot or empty space and park. Avoid ditches due to possible flooding. If you can, angle your car so the hail pelts your windshields, which are more strongly reinforced than the other windows.
  • Stay in your car with your seat belt on. Put your head below the windows and cover your head and hands with a blanket or your floormat.

IF YOU'RE AT HOME:

  • Shelter pets and farm animals. Even small hail can fatally or seriously injure them.
  • Close and lock all your windows and doors. After shutting them, stay away from them in case of shattered glass. Remain on the lower floor and close any blinds or curtains.
  • Shut off electricity in case of a power surge. Do not use candles to light your home, as they could be knocked over. Use a flashlight instead.

AFTER IT STOPS HAILING

Once you know the coast is clear, follow these steps.

  • Take photos and/or videos. Gather photos of damaged property and of any remaining hailstones. Use another object to compare the hailstone to as a reference, or physically measure it.
  • Clean up. Remove debris from your yard or car and address any leaks in your home.
  • Notify your insurance agent. Your agent will help you through the process of recovery. Having photos will make filing your claim a much simpler process.
  • Hire help. If you have auto glass damage, you will file your claim through Safelite AutoGlass®, our partner in the Grinnell Mutual Glass Program.
  • Keep receipts from repair purchases. This could be from the company that fixes your roof or the auto shop that replaces the hood of your car. Save a picture of the receipt on your phone for backup.

HAIL AND YOUR HOME

Most hail claims are covered under homeowners insurance policies. See what options are best for you with home insurance from Grinnell Mutual.

Homeowners insurance

 

The information included in this publication was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company and its employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with any training, materials, suggestions or information provided. It is the user’s responsibility to confirm compliance with any applicable local, state or federal regulations. Information obtained from or via Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company should not be used as the basis for legal advice or other advice, but should be confirmed with alternative sources.