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Ohio 4th in U.S. hail, wind damage claims

Ohio ranks 4th in the nation for the most wind and hail claims, according to State Farm insurance company.

“Wind and hail storms remain some of the most frequent and severe causes of property damage,” said the insurance company.

State Farm and its policyholders spent $3.9 million in 2012 related to wind and hail damage. The first-ever indoor hail storm was conducted by The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety Research Center in an “effort to research building products and ways to educate consumers.”

The top 10 states with the most wind and/or hail claims include:

* Texas: 47,000

* Illinois: 41,000

* New York: 34,000

* Ohio: 31,000

* Missouri: 25,000

* Tennessee: 24,000

* Indiana: 23,000

* New Jersey: 23,000

* Kentucky: 22,000

* Colorado: 16,000

States such as Ohio and states in the Great Plains are most frequently impacted by hail storms, said the insurance company.

Other parts of the country see more hail than Ohio, specifically the western high Plains to the Frost Range of the Rockies, said Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson.

Eastern Colorado and Wyoming are the areas with the most occurrences on average each year. However, population density is much lower in those areas. Ohio has a higher population density as well as more property that can be damaged by hail. Ohio has had an increase of large hail in storms the last few years, said Simpson.

According to Simpson, Ohio is actually the part of the country that sees the most straight-line wind damage. This is because the storm systems that develop into wind-damage producers typically originate over the Upper Midwest, including Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

The pattern allows the wind to develop and also steers them toward Ohio. As the wind heads toward the Buckeye State they accelerate and speeds increase. Ohio ends up bearing the brunt of the damage from the strongest winds in Ohio and Indiana.

According to State Farm, home and property owners can reduce storm damage by:

* Pulling cars, boats, RVs, lawn and patio furniture into a covered area.

* Considering using impact-resistant roofing when building or remodeling to reduce hail damage to your home.

If you experience hail damage, State Farm recommends you work with your insurance agent or claims adjuster to understand the claims process and how covered repairs will be handled.

Choose a reputable roofing contractor. Ask for a licensed or bonded roofer with certificates of insurance, including liability and workers compensation insurance coverage. Not all jurisdictions require licensing of roofing contractors.

Property owners can “contact their local Better Business Bureau or the National Roofing Contractors Association for assistance in locating a professional contractor in their area,” State Farm said.

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