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US hailstorms in June 2018 could cost insurers more than $3 billion according to the latest catastrophe report released by Aon P.L.C.’s Impact Forecasting unit. Hail and damaging straight-line winds hit areas in the Rockies, Plains, Midwest, Southeast, and the Northeast, the report said, with Colorado among the hardest hit as separate major hailstorms struck the metro areas of Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs with golf ball-sized hail. 

For businesses that operate in hail-prone areas (see map below), it is important to take certain precautions to prevent and minimize hail damage. With the climate conditions changing, it is important for businesses that are not in these “hail prone counties” to still take prevention measures since they can still get hit with hail damage due to an unexpected storm.

Hail damage US mapBased on hail reports compiled by the storm prediction center, counties highlighted in blue are subject to a high frequency of severe, damaging hailstorms (storms with a maximum hailstone of 1-inch or larger). 

Business ImpactEven one single hailstorm can result in tremendous destruction. There were 6,045 major hail storms in 2017, according to the NOAA’s Severe Storms database, resulting in $1.8 billion in property and crop damage. Protecting the bottom line in order to remain open, or to re-open quickly after a hail disaster, requires taking steps now to prevent or reduce resulting damage should your business be in the path of a violent hailstorm. 

What Can You Do?To reduce your risk of costly damage and give you peace of mind, preparation is key. 

Especially if your business is located in a hail-prone area as shown in the IBHS map above, precautionary measures are a must. Roofs are the most frequently damaged part of a building due to hail. When choosing the right roof for your business in a hail-prone area, IBHS research found there is considerable variation in the impact resistance of different types of roof coverings. Therefore, it is important to select a hail impact-resistant roof for a new building or when re-roofing. IBHS recommends the use of products with a UL 2218 Class 4 rating in hail-prone regions. The UL Online Certifications Directory maintains a list of UL Certified Clients for Roof Covering Materials, Impact Resistant, UL 2218.

Hail guards can also help prevent damage. They are specially designed protection systems that cover outdoor equipment components while allowing for adequate airflow. Just like a roof itself, roof-mounted heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment can be severely damaged by hail, leading to energy loss and potential business downtime. Sometimes, the damage associated with a single hailstorm can cost a business much more than protecting the equipment in the first place. In some facilities, the cost of downtime and lost productivity can be more devastating than the repairs or replacement of the equipment. To find out more about hail guard installation, click here

XL Catlin’s Property Risk Engineering/GAPS team can assist you with your property loss prevention any time of the year. For additional information on preventing hail-related losses at your facility, please contact one of our Property Risk Engineering Leaders.  Be sure to check out Calm Before the Storm: Facility Planning for severe weather conditions, a helpful toolkit compiled by our Property Risk Engineering team to help businesses’ weather preparedness. XL Catlin also partners with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) to provide you information on how to mitigate the risks involved with hail. Here are some more tips to help you minimize or prevent damage to your property and financial security due to hail. 


Global Asset Protection Services, LLC, and its affiliates (“AXA XL Risk Consulting”) provides risk assessment reports and other loss prevention services, as requested. This document shall not be construed as indicating the existence or availability under any policy of coverage for any particular type of loss or damage. AXA XL Risk. We specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that compliance with any advice or recommendation in any publication will make a facility or operation safe or healthful, or put it in compliance with any standard, code, law, rule or regulation. Save where expressly agreed in writing, AXA XL Risk Consulting and its related and affiliated companies disclaim all liability for loss or damage suffered by any party arising out of or in connection with this publication, including indirect or consequential loss or damage, howsoever arising. Any party who chooses to rely in any way on the contents of this document does so at their own risk.

US- and Canada-Issued Insurance Policies

In the US, the AXA XL insurance companies are: AXA Insurance Company, Catlin Insurance Company, Inc., Greenwich Insurance Company, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, XL Insurance America, Inc., XL Specialty Insurance Company and T.H.E. Insurance Company. In Canada, coverages are underwritten by XL Specialty Insurance Company - Canadian Branch and AXA Insurance Company - Canadian branch. Coverages may also be underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003. Coverages underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003 are placed on behalf of the member of Syndicate #2003 by Catlin Canada Inc. Lloyd’s ratings are independent of AXA XL.
US domiciled insurance policies can be written by the following AXA XL surplus lines insurers: XL Catlin Insurance Company UK Limited, Syndicates managed by Catlin Underwriting Agencies Limited and Indian Harbor Insurance Company. Enquires from US residents should be directed to a local insurance agent or broker permitted to write business in the relevant state.