Hail Claims for Vehicle Damage Soared in 2011

Total insured losses reached 244,818 claims and $797,193,435 in payments last year, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Insured losses for hail damage to vehicles more than doubled in 2011 compared with the previous three years, according to a recent analysis done by the Highway Loss Data Institute. It is sure to be noticed by insurers because the total insured losses are rising –- reaching 244,818 claims and $797,193,435 in payments last year –- and because HLDI had to pair hail and tornado data from NOAA to come up with its numbers. Currently, no company supplies data to HLDI that lists the type of weather that caused a loss, according to the report.

In addition, some states ranked high for 2011 insured losses from hail that were not highly ranked in the prior years. Wyoming, for example, ranked highest for claim frequency in 2011 but was ranked 18th in 2008 and 14th in 2009. Tennessee ranked 10th for claim frequency in 2011 but was ranked 32nd in 2008 and 24th in both 2009 and 2010.

HLDI said the analysis showed a frequency of 5.9 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years in 2011, compared with 2.9 in 2008 and 2009 and 2.7 in 2010. Overall losses in 2011 were $19 per insured vehicle year versus $8 to $9 in the other years. Its analysis excluded hail storms that accompanied tornadoes.

States that consistently ranked high in hail claim frequency throughout the period were South Dakota, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

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