Hail damage leaves many wishing they had insurance coverage

By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield - bio | email

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina insurance companies say a weekend hailstorm caused about $45 million in property damage.

Insurance News Service executive director Russ Dubinsky said Monday that companies reported more than 18,000 claims had been filed. He said the number could go up as people discover more damage.

State Farm spokesman Roszell Gadson says people with unrepaired damage should protect property from storms forecast for overnight Monday into Tuesday morning. Gadson says roofs should be covered with tarps to prevent further water damage.

State Farm is South Carolina's largest home and auto insurer. Its clients accounted for 2,100 home and auto claims from hail that smashed windshields and pummeled homes this past weekend.

"You can see all the dings here from the hail," said hail storm victim Wayne Thierrien. It's a subject he is well versed in as an insurance agent.

He hasn't even filed his own claim yet because he's too busy making claims for cars in a similar situation as his. After a weekend hail downpour, some car owners are finding out they aren't insured. "The coverage you have to cover hail damage on your car is comprehensive coverage," said Thierrien.

People with older cars sometimes just have standard liability coverage or collision in case of an accident. Comprehensive coverage costs more.
Thierrien says you have to weigh the risks. "In older cars, it's really just a matter of do you want to pay a premium to have that coverage added to your policy," said Thierrien.

Thierrien said that because the hail season is just beginning, it's a good time to give your agent a call and see how ready your car is for a storm.

Thierrien also said people are finding out the hard way that rental car coverage is also extra. If you need do get dinged by hail and need some alternate wheels, you will need to already have signed up for that coverage as well.

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