Despite varying climates across the country, hail damage has affected Americans across the U.S. and has caused up to $1 billion in reparations each year. More than half of all hail storms produce hail that is an inch or larger in diameter, which can cause major harm to homes and cars. Here are some ways to keep safe and minimize the potential consequences:

Review your hail storm insurance coverage
Properly insuring your home and car is your first line of defense against the damage of hail storms. The type of coverage you need depends on where in the country you live and the likelihood that you’ll experience harmful hail storms. But no matter where you live, first check your insurance coverage. Hail insurance is generally included in most homeowner policies, but some deductibles for claims are higher than others. Additionally, make sure you have comprehensive coverage for your vehicle if your area has a history of strong hail storms. Otherwise, if you carry only liability insurance for your car, you’ll likely have to pay out of pocket for auto damage.

Prepare your home
Mitigate the risks to your home by preparing it for the possibility of a hail storm. Your roof is the most susceptible to sustaining damage since it bears the brunt of the hail’s force. Over time, it can become weaker from a hail storm, so make sure it’s in good condition – ideally with impact-resistant shingles – and routinely have it inspected. Address any necessary roof repairs in a timely fashion to avoid last minute costly repairs.

Additionally, don’t neglect important outdoor maintenance. Trim any overgrown trees on your property so the branches won’t strike your home amid high winds. Also, move large outdoor items, such as patio furniture or trash cans, to a covered location where they’re less likely to be picked up by a storm.

Prepare your vehicle
Covered parking is optimal if your area is prone to hail storms. If that isn’t a possibility, purchase a hail car cover to minimize potential damage to your car’s roof, hood, and windshield.

Respond quickly after a storm
Once you’ve weathered the storm, carefully assess your home and car for damage. Take photographs and contact your claims professional to help you assess the damage. Appropriately filing a hail damage claim helps to ensure that you receive the right settlement in a timely fashion.

Reach out to your HUB broker to protect yourself and understand how to mitigate your risks with hail storm insurance coverage.