When you own a business in the horticultural industry, seeing a hailstorm in the forecast will certainly get your attention. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) annual severe weather 2022 report, there were 4,211 reports of hail in the United States from January 1 through September 20, with 47 out of 50 states reporting hailstorms. That’s nearly 450 more incidents than we saw in all of 2021, and 2022 isn’t over yet.
Just as there are “tornado alleys” in the U.S., hailstorms occur more frequently in certain geographical locations. NOAA points out that Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming usually have the most hailstorms annually. The region where these three states meet—known as “hail alley”—averages seven to nine hail days per year.
And as NASA’s global climate change models predict, hailstorms may become more intense due to the warming climate and increasingly severe weather occurring as a result. So if you own a horticultural business anywhere in the U.S., you’ll likely have to deal with hail damage at some point.
Are you prepared for the outcome of a severe hailstorm? You can’t control the weather, much less the impact of an unexpected hailstorm, but you can prepare your business and your employees for the aftermath.
Here are several ways you can help mitigate your losses as hailstorms become a more frequent, unwelcomed guest.
Hail isn’t limited to damaging your crops outside or within your greenhouse structures, it can do significant damage to your property as a whole. Even with the most impact-modified cladding (coverings), hail can crack or penetrate through—potentially damaging the interior shade system, controls, and equipment.
In addition to your crops, hail can damage:
Solid ice pellets aren’t the only danger during a hailstorm. These storms often are accompanied by other destructive weather, like high winds, heavy rains, and tornadoes.
A disaster related to a weather, climate, or water hazard occurred nearly every day during the past 50 years, according to a report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 2021. And the number of weather-related disasters has increased by a factor of five over that 50-year period—driven by climate change, more extreme weather, and improved reporting.
Once the hailstorm and related weather system has passed, it’s time to assess the damage.
Hailstorms can’t be prevented, but commercial property insurance is one of the best ways to protect your company from losses related to hail damage. Your commercial property insurance can be customized based on your buildings, equipment, inventory, income, and other exposures.
Depending on your policy, coverage can apply to the equipment contained within your buildings or greenhouses, including:
You may also receive reimbursement for lost business income as a result of damages to your property. Work with your insurance provider to make sure you have the proper commercial business liability coverage.
An insurance provider who’s focused on the particular risk exposures and unique characteristics of businesses within your industry can give you peace of mind. With more than 135 years serving the horticultural industry, we understand the impact a hailstorm can have on your business. We can work quickly through our cultivated relationships with local contractors in your area to help you get your business up and running again.
You also want to be sure your company and employees can identify and help mitigate hazards. Through our safety services, we can tailor a loss control program that can help your business prepare for severe weather events.
If you suffer hail damage, you need to file a claim. Follow these five tips when reporting a claim to help get your claim started, processed, and settled more quickly.
Learn about two other critical types of business insurance coverage that play major roles in helping protect your horticultural company.
Preparing for severe weather should be part of your safety plan. Learn why taking a proactive safety approach can help improve your business operations and your bottom line.
Hortica® property and casualty coverages are underwritten, and loss control services are provided, by Florists’ Mutual Insurance Company, Florists’ Insurance Service, Inc., Edwardsville, IL, or affiliated members of the Sentry Insurance Group. For more information, visit hortica.com. Policies, coverages, benefits, and discounts are not available in all states. See policy for complete coverage details.
The general information contained in this article is for informational or entertainment purposes only. The information in this article is provided “AS-IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES of any kind. Florists’ Mutual Insurance Company, its subsidiaries, or affiliates (Companies) do not accept any responsibility related to the content or accuracy of the information contained in this article. The information contained in this article should not be mistaken for professional or legal advice. Any use of this article or any third-party website linked to this article is at the risk of the user. THE COMPANIES ARE NOT LIABLE TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THIS ARTICLE OR ANY THIRD-PARTY WEBSITE LINKED TO THIS ARTICLE. The views and opinions contained in third-party websites referenced in this article are the views and opinions of third-party authors and may not represent the opinions or policies of the Companies.