30 JULY 2016 Claims Magazine PropertyCasualty360.com
An odd thing has been happening over the past several years: property insurance hail claims in many parts of the country have been increasing, but official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
hail reports have not. If no more hail has been falling, why are
more people filing claims for hail damage?
One prominent reason for the increase in hail claims is the
increased prevalence of automated hail track products. You’ve
probably seen them or used them yourself: digital maps with hail
swaths color-coded to indicate hail size, available online for instant
download. These products are offered by a number of different
companies and are heavily marketed to contractors as well as to
insurance adjusters. It’s an equal opportunity sales approach: pitch
the roofer who will encourage the homeowner to file a claim, as
well as the insurance adjuster who will investigate it.
The marketing is not subtle. One prominent hail map provider advertises, “Learn how contractors are using [our product]
Automated Hail Tracks
THE DARK SIDE OF DUAL-POL RADAR
By Megan D. Walker-Radtke, CCM
Source: NOAA; Blue Skies Meteorological Services
Annual Hail Reports in the U.S.
THE ANNUAL NUMBER OF REPORTS OF HAIL GREATER
THAN 1” DIAMETER FOR THE UNITED STATES