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Homes and cars bombed by hail

By Crissinda Ponder · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Posted: 4 pm ET

Homeowners across the Midwest are calling their insurance agents after the region took a pounding from hail the size of baseballs.

Nebraska took some of the worst pummeling from hail. It left craters on car windshields and shredded the siding on homes in communities including Norfolk and Plainview.

In Iowa, hail destroyed the windows of more than 25 cars, the National Weather Service's Terry Landsvork told The Associated Press.

Other states affected include Indiana, Kansas and Missouri.

Is the damage covered?

For those left with banged-up cars and pocked homes, it may be a comfort to know that homeowners insurance provides coverage for damage caused by hail, says Loretta Worters, a spokeswoman for trade group the Insurance Information Institute.

For those with hail damage to their cars, you would be covered by the comprehensive portion -- if you carry that type of coverage -- of your auto insurance policy, she adds.

There were more than 5,000 major hail storms throughout the U.S. in 2013, according to the National Weather Service. Midwestern states including Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa were in the top 10 states for hail events last year.

After a severe hail storm, take steps to protect your property from further damage -- but don't put yourself at risk in the process by going up on the roof, for example, Worters says.

Additionally, keep in mind that insurance policies impose time limits on filing claims.

"Whether it's a home or car, phone your agent or company immediately," she advises.

Could your finances survive a natural disaster? Read our primer on how to prepare for the worst.

Follow me on Twitter @CrissiPonder.

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