Hail causes damage, spike in insurance claims

Published: May. 12, 2011 at 12:56 AM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2011 at 12:49 PM EDT
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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The hail from Tuesday's severe thunderstorms had a lot of people calling an insurance agency or repair shop Wednesday.

A lot of the worst damage was reported in the Conway area, and at Palmetto Chevrolet's body shop two SUV's and a pick-up truck were already in for hail damage repairs Wednesday afternoon.

A short distance away at Bob Monaghan's home the hail ripped through his outdoor furniture, busted out his home's skylights, dented his two cars and a truck and cracked or broke the glass in all of them too.

"It came down the size of golf balls and softballs, and it sounded like rifle bullets hitting the house," Monaghan said.

He called Linny Hall with Riteway Auto Glass to come repair the glass in his vehicles. Hall said he was booked up with repairs for at the least the next three days, and he may even work Saturday because of the number of repairs now on his list.

"Whenever there's bad weather comes through here you always stand a chance on it, but this one's a little bit worse than usual," Hall said. "There's a lot of phone calls we got from this one."

NOW HE'S BOOKED SOLID FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT THREE DAYS.

In South Carolina anyone with comprehensive car insurance does not have to pay a deductible to get a car's broken glass replaced. In North Carolina the deductible does apply.

No matter the location, getting dents repaired involves meeting a deductible. At the Conway office of State Farm insurance calls about dents and broken car glass were almost non-stop Wednesday.

There have been so many calls the office is going to have a drive-up claims service this week so adjusters do not have to go to all the homes individually.

"It's quicker," agent Mary Kendall Bittle said. "We can see more people in a shorter period of time."

Bittle said the office has also received some calls about home roofs. She said those claims usually come in a little later than auto claims because it makes sense to have a roofer look at the damage first.

"And see if that would be above their deductible, and then if it's more than their deductible then they would call us, and they would put a claim in," Bittle explained.

Monaghan said he realized his insurance process was just beginning. An adjuster for his insurance company will make it to his house early next week.

He should have no reason to worry about get the claim in immediately though. There is no specific deadline for when claims have to be made.

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