Insurance claims for hail damage increased 84 percent in 2012 from 2010, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
In 2010, 467,602 hail damage claims were filed. That number increased 47 percent to 689,267 in 2011 and another 25 percent to 861,597 in 2012.
The top five states generating hail damage claims between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2012, were:
The bureau warns consumers to beware of unethical contractors who descend on areas hit by hailstorms. They typically go door-to-door offering repair services. Some collect money upfront and then skip town before completing the work, and others use substandard materials.
Consumers should check with their home insurance companies first and get estimates from more than one contractor. They should require and check contractor references, get everything in writing and resist pressure to sign a contract right away, the bureau said.