Because not all hail is created equal, hailstones can fall in a small non-threating quarter inch pea-sized piece of ice or up to the largest hailstone on record, which measured eight inches in diameter and fell in South Dakota on July 23, 2010. Just a little smaller than a volleyball, it could cave in a car’s roof.
A hailstone the size of a baseball falls at a speed comparable to a baseball thrown by a major league pitcher − nearly 100 mph, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory. It’s no surprise that hail and the wind that pushes it can cause millions of dollars of damage to property.
Of the 6,045 hailstorms reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2017, more than half, 3,316 occurred in three months, April, May and June. Here are some ways to prepare for a hailstorm.
Before the storm
- Trim trees and remove dead branches, especially those close to windows and skylights.
- Pick up debris and loose objects in the yard to minimize flying objects.
- Listen to your local weather station; often forecasters can predict when hail could be a factor.
- Bring your animals inside.
- Put vehicles in garages or under some kind of shelter.
During the storm
- Simply seek shelter.
- Stay away from windows and remain indoors.
- Put as many walls as possible between you and the elements.
GEICO policyholders who lose power can file a claim on GEICO Mobile or call 1-800-841-3000 24 hours a day. Others can report their loss at the GEICO's Claims Center. For severe hail events, GEICO's Catastrophe Response (CAT) Team is on standby to assist.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 16 million private passenger customers, insuring more than 27 million vehicles (auto & cycle).
Using GEICO’s online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through GEICO Mobile, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.
GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.
For more information, go to www.geico.com.