Insurance FYI: Prepare for hail

EnCompass Magazine

Colorado hailstorms can strike with little warning, giving you too little time to minimize damage. Protect yourself, your loved ones, and your vehicle and home.

There were more than 5,600 major hailstorms in the U.S. in 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most hailstones are about the size of a pea or marble, but they can get as large as a softball.

“Hail can damage your roof, dent your car and crack your windows,” said Brian McGrail, vice president of Insurance at AAA Colorado. “Because hail can occur anywhere in the country, it’s wise to make plans to minimize hail damage.”

Your home’s roof
Inspect your roof regularly and make necessary repairs as soon as possible. When replacing your roof, consider using material that has been tested for impact resistance. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety recommends roofing materials rated by UL 2218 or FM 4473 as Class 3 or 4. Visit IBHS for more information.

The right coverage for your vehicle
If you live in an area prone to hail, make sure you have the right auto insurance coverage. Hail damage is part of comprehensive coverage, which covers physical damage to your vehicle not caused by a collision. Park your car in a covered spot whenever possible.

Caught in a storm?
If you’re in your car when a hailstorm hits, stop at a safe place, such as under a highway overpass or in a parking garage, as soon as you can. If no shelter is available, pull off the road completely and stop. Move away from car windows and cover your head with a jacket, papers or even your arms to protect yourself from broken glass.

After the storm
Report vehicle and home damage to your insurance company as soon as possible. To the extent possible, prevent further loss to your property. Choose your contractor carefully. Make sure they are licensed.

AAA connection
The best way to assure that you’re getting the right coverage at the best price is to regularly review your policy with an insurance expert. As a AAA member, you have access to an insurance expert in an office near you. Call 844-259-2803 to speak with an AAA Insurance agent, or go online at