Be more prepared for hail storm season this year.

Be more prepared for hail storm season this year.

April 19, 2016 3:46 pm Published by

Huge Costs Associated With Hail Damage

Damage caused by wind and hail cost one insurer in just one year more than $3.9 billion in 2012, according to an April 2013 analysis by the insurer. Texas was the state with the most wind/hail losses, followed by Illinois, New York, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, Indiana, New Jersey, Kentucky and Colorado (Read study). That means that hail damage will result in a tsunami of insurance claims for you. Now, for the first time, there is advanced science to help you better validate and manage those claims while improving policyholder satisfaction.

The Understory platform harvests data on hail, wind, rain, temperature, pressure, and humidity from dense networks of our patented weather sensors. This platform then provides insurers with property-level data in real time. We call this, “ground-truth weather detection” and it will allow you to provide unsurpassed service to your customers.

Our hyper-local data powers advanced damage analytics for the properties you protect. We make it easy for you to tailor our services to your organization.

What causes hail?

Hail forms when updrafts in thunderstorms carry drops of rain into areas of the atmosphere where the temperature is below freezing. In these cold zones, raindrops freeze into ice pellets that range from small granules to softballs in size.

It’s not surprising that 39% of homeowner property damage claims occur between March and May – the height of hail season. There were over 5,500 major hail storms in 2014 in the US of which nearly 22% occurred in May.

Hail stones from a recent hail storm in Dallas, TX

Figure 1: Hail can be as small as a pea, or as big as a softball. Shingle damage can occur at 1” for older roofs and 2” for newer roofs.

Provide unparalleled customer service with the tools from Understory.

If you’re preparing for the 2016 hail storm season just like any other, you may not be as prepared as you could be if you’re still relying on NOAA hail reports. Understory’s ground-truth weather data can help prepare you in two ways. First, by subscribing to our ground-truth weather platform, you will get location specific hail reports along with a host of other reports designed to make it easier for you provide unparalleled customer service. These hail reports provide you with location specific, ground truth weather data keeping you up-to-date and prepared throughout the hail storm season.

Second, by sharing our complimentary mobile application, Shine, with your policyholders. It is easily downloaded onto any Apple™ mobile device from iTunes at

The consumer app lets you and your policyholders:

  • be alerted to all relevant National Weather Service thunderstorm and flood events
  • see if their home was likely to be damaged by hail and wind
  • plan pre-emptive home maintenance

Even if radar and NOAA hail reports indicate no hail, what’s happening on the ground could be completely different.

In our previous post we discussed the March 23, 2016 hail storm that roared across north Dallas. Radar indicated that Garland, Texas was not the site of very active hail. Simultaneously, the hail reports from Understory measurements detected an area of high damage potential. To verify the accuracy of our measurements, we hired a roofer to inspect a roof in Garland. He confirmed hail damage from the sizes and impacts measured by Understory’s ground-truth sensors. He also noted auto damage.

Our prior post showcased some of the science behind our ground-truth hail measurements. Check it out to see how Understory measures hail impacts that occur within fractions of seconds from each other!

No disputes. Just the most accurate hail claims verification possible.

Next steps.

Understory’s data collection and analytics platform is deployed in your city now, or will be soon. Contact us to discuss how we can customize it for your needs!

Additional information

Video: see what a top meteorologist thinks about Understory

News article: Cutting edge hail technology gives amazing picture of recent hailstorm

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