Nature is a force to be reckoned with, and Americans are well aware of this fact. Hail damage statistics speak louder than words on the matter.
However, it seems as if this natural phenomenon is overlooked due to other disasters, like tornadoes or hurricanes. Then again, hail’s disastrous consequences aren’t likely to disappear without a trace.
A hailstone is a unique kind of precipitation — water drops that freeze among the clouds and are taken up-drift by atmospheric winds. As more drops stick and freeze to the initial one, larger hailstones are formed and eventually weigh down the wind, falling on the ground.
However, with this activity during a storm and at a considerably great speed, there is much more to hail storms, as the facts will show soon enough.
Hard-Hitting Hail Damage Statistics and Facts (Editor’s Pick):
- The most fatal hail storm happened in 1888 in India
- 12 people ended up with injuries after a hail storm in Tuscany, Italy, in 2021
- In a hail storm that occurred in Texas in 2021, a 6.4-inch hailstone was collected
- In 2019, there were 192,988 hail loss claims in Texas
- Since 2008, there haven’t been any hail storm fatalities
- 92 people lost their lives due to a hail storm in 1986 in Bangladesh
- In 2020, one or more damaging hail storms affected over 6.2 million properties in the US
- The national average for hail and storm damage is $8,911
General Hail Information
1. Hailstones are compared to everyday objects that they’re closest in size to, with the largest being grapefruit — 4 ½ inches.
The objects hailstones are compared to include:
- Pea — quarter-inch diameter;
- Mothball — half-inch diameter;
- Dime — 3/4 inch diameter;
- Nickel — 7/8 inch diameter;
- Quarter — one inch;
- Ping-pong ball — one-and-a-half-inch;
- Golf ball — 1 ¾ inch;
- Tennis ball — 2 ½ inches;
- Baseball — 2 ¾ inches;
- Teacup — 3 inches;
- Softball — 4 inches;
- Grapefruit — 4 ½ inches.
2. Hail facts and information indicate that most hailstones are tiny — 0.25 inches or 0.5 inches.
(Weather Station Advisor)
So, the most common hailstone sizes are the size of a pea or a mothball. That said, most hail storms don’t do any damage. If they do cause some damage, that would probably be to foliage and small twigs.
3. Most hail storms across the US occur from May to August.
As we can see from the hail frequency by month, that’s different from the time of tornadoes’ occurrence, which peaks in April and May.
In general, hail is most common in summer since that’s the time when more cumulonimbus clouds form. As the clouds are more prone to developing in a moist atmosphere, both the development of cumulonimbus clouds and a humid atmosphere may cause more hail storms.
Recent Major Hail Events Globally
4. There was a major hail storm in Northern Texas in March 2019.
(The Dallas Morning News)
A severe thunderstorm dropped massive hailstones, with the largest one measured at 2.75 inches, or the size of a baseball.
Furthermore, the hail storm swept through parts of McKinney, Frisco, and Plano. Tragically, almost every uncovered car sustained damage, including broken windshields.
5. Hail damage statistics find that 12 people sustained injuries in the hail storm in Tuscany, Italy, in 2021.
(ESSL, The Indian Express)
The hail storm occurred on September 26 and hit Vaglia, Tuscany. Apart from the 12 injured people, roofs, cars, crops, and windows saw substantial damage.
However, that wasn’t the only hail storm in Italy in 2021. As a matter of fact, a few months before, a violent hail storm occurred between Milan and Naples.
Namely, massive hailstones smashed through car windows, also causing several rear-end collisions and triggering panic and chaos in the citizens.
6. In the hail season 2021, there was a 5.3-inch hailstone found in Poland.
It was reported in Poland in June of last year, and it was probably the largest hailstone in Poland’s history. In order to determine the size of the hailstone, the woman who found it measured it with a ruler and took a photo.
7. In a hail storm that occurred in Hondo, Texas, in 2021, a 6.4-inch hailstone was collected.
The hail storm happened on April 28 of last year. In addition, according to a committee and its hail statistics by state, it was the largest hailstone ever found in Texas.
Furthermore, the stone was pictured next to a quarter for a scale, and the Pennsylvania State University professor of atmospheric sciences measured it. Namely, the hailstone weighed approximately 1.26 pounds. In addition, the storm caused damage worth $1 billion.
Moreover, doppler radar, detecting particle motion, type, and intensity, evaluated that the storm’s supercell was over 64,000 feet tall — virtually undetected even for the most powerful storms.
Hail Information for the US
8. In 2019 alone, people in the US witnessed 5,396 major hail storms.
These events involved hailstones of more than 1 inch in diameter. Generally speaking, the threat of hail is all the greater across the US as these events are keeping a positive trend in terms of frequency.
9. In Texas, there were 192,988 hail loss claims in 2019, as hail storm reports in Texas confirm.
According to an official analysis of the hail storms across the US, Texas accounts for the most hail loss claims per state. That’s why it’s crucial for people from Texas to be familiar with the best car insurance there.
Furthermore, Colorado and Nebraska rank second and third according to the number of major hail loss claims, with 69,742 and 56,897, respectively.
10. One or more damaging hail storms affected over 6.2 million properties in the US in 2020.
In detail, almost 25% of the 6.2 million affected properties were in Texas, and approximately 8% occurred in Illinois. Sadly, these events resulted in damages worth over $14 billion in claims that year.
11. The annual US hail frequency is greatest in Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska (7–9 hail days).
(Sheridan Media, WGNTV)
Not all states are equally likely to experience such events and to the same extent. Just as that, some specific states and regions are particularly likely to get struck by such phenomena.
For residents of these, in particular, any hail information is bound to be of use, and estimating the size of the hailstones is one such valuable piece of knowledge, especially when accounting for damages or filing insurance claims.
Additionally, insurance companies refer to the place where Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska meet as “Hail Alley.” These states are most likely to incur property or physical injury damage. That’s why people from Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska should have car insurance.
12. Every year, hail storms cause damages to homes, cars, and crops in the US, worth around $15 billion.
Flood, hail, and wind cause significant damage to crops and property alike, creating huge insurance costs in the process.
As a matter of fact, hail damage statistics reveal that the cost of the damages has risen in recent decades. Namely, it was around $1.2 billion annually in the 90s, which was also an increase from previous decades.
The reason behind this growth is the larger size of many new homes and the population increase in hail-prone places like Dallas-Fort Worth and Denver.
13. According to the national hail report, the largest hailstone in the US was recorded in 2010 in Vivian, South Dakota.
(Weather, Severe Weather)
On July 23, 2010, a hail storm produced the record-breaking hailstone in South Dakota, measuring 8 inches in diameter and 1.94 pounds in weight.
Mr. Lee Scott found the hailstone, which had the size of a volleyball. Moreover, it caused an impact pit of around 10 inches in the ground.
Hail Storm Deaths Statistics
14. No hail storm fatalities have been reported for the past 14 years in the US.
The US may have undergone massive expenses and other damages, but no casualties have recently been reported among the residents of respective states. The number of fatalities has remained firmly at zero since 2008.
15. In 2008, hail caused one fatality in the United States.
As we’ve already mentioned, the rate of hail deaths per year in the US has remained stable since 2008 — no deaths caused by hail have been reported.
However, there have been a total of four fatalities for the 2000–2008 time span. Two of these were killed by hail in a storm back in 2000, one in 2005, and the last death occurred in 2008.
16. In 1986, a Bangladesh hail storm caused 92 fatalities.
The heaviest hailstone ever recorded fell in a severe hail storm on April 14, 1986, in the Gopalgajn district of Bangladesh. In detail, it weighed 2.25 pounds — a grapefruit-sized hailstone.
17. The deadliest hail storm occurred in 1888 in India.
The deadliest hail storm ever recorded in the history of hail storms was that of April 30, 1888, in the Moradabad & Beheri districts in India. There were 246 fatalities from the hail storm. Reportedly, hailstones were the size of “goose eggs, oranges, and cricket balls.”
18. US hail incidents have proven to be damaging to aircraft as well — once causing 72 fatalities.
Back in 1977, on April 4, a Southern Airways DC-9 encountered a hail storm and crashed due to an engine malfunction. More precisely, the engines ingested hail and could no longer operate under full thrust, crashing the airplane on a road in New Hope, Georgia.
Around 63 people on the aircraft, and nine people on the ground, lost their lives.
Damaging Hail Expenses and Car Insurance
19. The national average for hail and storm damage amounts to $8,911.
Then again, prices may range $2,000–$15,500. When considering whether to cover the costs of minor repairs yourself or file a claim, you should know your deductible and how much you would save by receiving compensation through a claim compared to total project costs.
Moreover, hail data suggests that if hail damages your car, and you don’t mind that, as you plan on driving it to the ground, fixing it probably won’t be worth it.
On the other hand, if you plan on selling it eventually, it’s best that you repair it. On average, people keep their cars for approximately 8.4 years.
20. Hail events by state uncover that the most fatal hail storm in US records was that of 1784 in South Carolina.
South Carolina residents need no reminder on when hail season is, as the damages caused by these storms speak for themselves. According to an article from the South Carolina Gazette, eight people were fatally injured by hail along the Wateree River.
21. Hail data notes that hail damage to the roofs is most common, and it requires a roofer who costs $50–$90 an hour.
(Young Alfred, Bill Ragan Roofing)
If the hail is the size of an inch or even bigger, there will be dents/dings on your shingles. Moreover, replacing damaged shingles would set you back $1–$5 per square foot of materials. In case of hail damage to your roof, keep these estimates in mind.
22. The average hail damage claim is about $6,500 in one of the hail alley map cities — Colorado.
Be that as it may, there won’t be many out-of-pocket expenses for a full-auto hail repair if you turn to some of the best car insurance companies and get comprehensive insurance.
The reason behind this is that the majority of specialty paintless dent repair shops cover your deductible so that you don’t worry about filing for an insurance claim to repair the hail damage.
How can people from this state not worry about hail damage when, for instance, stats on hail season in Colorado 2021 confirm that Denver alone had 23 hail reports within ten miles of the city center last year?
23. Comprehensive car insurance fixes hail damage by covering 70% of your car’s value.
Overall, comprehensive insurance covers events not necessarily related to a car accident but still expensive to repair.
On the other hand, if you have cheaper liability-only insurance, you will cover the hail damage expenses by yourself.
As we can see, every hail damage report shows there are a lot of factors to consider when accounting for the danger of damaging hail events and their consequences to your property.
While people in the US still seem to be mainly disregarding this rather potential risk factor, awareness is on the rise, and more and more insurers seem to be noticing this trend and adjusting to the situation.
Fortunately, new terms and entire insurance policies have been present for all kinds of property in recent years.
People Also Ask
As mentioned earlier in our article, wind, flood, and hail account for considerable damage to property and crops, leading to high insurance costs. In the 90s, the damage cost was worth around $1.2 billion per year.
However, recent years have seen an increase in these expenses. In fact, nowadays, hail storms cause damages to homes, cars, and crops in the US, worth around $15 billion annually.
Americans have faced massive expenses and other damages due to hail storms. However, in the United States, hail storms which result in human fatalities are relatively rare. In fact, there haven’t been any hail storm deaths in the last 14 years.
That said, 2008 saw the last hail storm fatality, and before that, throughout the period 2000–2008, hail caused only three other deaths.
There’s no correct answer to this question, as it actually all depends on the person driving the car. That is to say; a person first must evaluate how much they need the vehicle and determine what their plans are.
In other words, if they aren’t concerned about driving a hail-damaged car and plan on driving it to the ground, fixing it won’t be worth it.
However, if they care about the condition of their vehicle and plan to sell it eventually, they should absolutely get it fixed.
Hail in the US causes terrible damage to roofs, cars, crops, windows, and so on. That’s when many people file hail claims. In 2019, the states with the highest numbers of hail claims were Nebraska, Texas, and Colorado.
However, Texas ranked first in the number of hail claims in 2019, with 192,988. The second place belonged to Colorado, which had 69,742 claims that year. Hail damage statistics show that Nebraska wasn’t far behind, as people there filed 56,897 claims.