As wonderful and long awaited as Spring is, it can bring with it some not so wonderful weather conditions. It’s important to make sure that you’re covered in case your house or car falls victim to Spring’s stormy wrath. These are the top 3 hazards to watch for this spring.

1) Thunderstorms

There’s a significant chunk of the population out there who enjoy Spring thunderstorms. I mean who doesn’t right? There’s something indescribably thrilling about a flash of lightning splitting open the sky followed by an earth rumbling thunder and rain so thick that you can barely see through it. There’s also nothing better than curling up in the dry comfort of your own home while a storm rages outside your window… that is until lightning strikes a nearby tree…

Lightening is a major hazard during the spring and summer months.

Fallen Tree Statistics

As cheesy as it sounds, disaster truly can strike at any moment. Whether it’s a flash flood or a tree falling on your home, you can’t forget that thunderstorms have the potential to cause some real damage. According to a study conducted by a student at Kent State University, there were nearly 400 deaths due to tree-related incidents between 1995-2007. 41% of those incidents were caused by thunderstorms and 35% were caused by high winds. That number doesn’t even include non-death related falling tree incidents; they’re more common than you would think.

Of course, we’re not saying you should be uneasy during every storm in fear that a tree might fall on you. All we’re saying is that it’s important to make sure your home and car are both insured in case a freak incident such as this occurs. An ORC International poll found that 95% of people who own a home have homeowner’s insurance, which means that 5% of the population is without. It’s important to note that, according to the U.S. Census (2017), about 137 million people own a home in the United States. Now 5% doesn’t seem like very much initially, but when you take into account the number of people who own a home in America, that’s actually a huge number of people who are uninsured!

If you’re part of the 5% who own a home without homeowner’s insurance, call us today to get a quote!

Fallen Trees are a hazard that is usually caused by lightening or high winds.

2) Hail Storms

One hazard that’s right up there with thunderstorms is hail storms. Although these storms are slightly less common, the damage they’re capable of causing can be significantly greater. Hail causes about $1 billion in damage to crops and property annually. These falling balls of ice can be as small as a blueberry or as big as a grapefruit! Hailstorms are also known to occur before a tornado hits, so you’ll want to make sure to take cover. Big or small, hailstorms have the ability to wreak havoc on your car or home if you don’t take necessary precautions.

Fun Fact: The largest reported hailstone was as big as a volleyball and fell on July 23, 2010, in Vivian, South Dakota. It was 8 inches in diameter and weighed almost 2 pounds!

Hail is a spring and summer hazard in the St. Louis area.

What Can I Do To Prevent Damage From a Hailstorm?

Hail falls in paths called “swaths” or “streaks” which can range anywhere from a few acres to 100 miles wide. If a hailstorm is in the forecast, it’s important to take a few precautions beforehand in order to reduce the risk of damage to your property. Here are a few things you can do.

  1. Make sure you’re covered by home and auto insurance.
  2. Invest in impact-resistant shingles for your home.
  3. Install storm shutters on your windows and doors to prevent them from shattering.
  4. Park your car in your garage. If you don’t have a garage, park your car away from large trees (their branches can fall causing damage) and place a car cover or drape towels/blankets over it.
  5. If you’re driving when a hail storm hits, drive slowly and try to find cover under an overpass or parking garage.

3) Potholes and Cracked Roadways

Probably not the hazard you were expecting, but still a hazard nonetheless. At least with a thunderstorm or hailstorm, you have some kind of warning beforehand. A pothole can disguise itself as a small bump in the road… until it’s not. They sneak up on you and can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your vehicle. Some of the parts that are at risk of being damaged by hitting a pothole are:

  • Your Engine.
  • Tires.
  • Wheel Rim.
  • Shocks and Struts.
  • Suspension.
  • Steering System.
  • Exhaust System.

In the event that you experience severe damage to your car due to a pothole, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is covered by auto insurance. Call today to get a quote!

Potholes are a major issue in the spring, but also during the winter.

What Causes Potholes?

Potholes occur when snow and ice melt. In the Spring, it’s common to have warmer temperatures during the day and colder temperatures at night. The snow and ice melt from the heat of the day, causing water to seep into cracks in the road caused by the everyday wear and tear of traffic. When the cold temperatures hit at night, the water freezes and expands within the pavement. This constant melting and freezing of water puts a lot of stress on the pavement and can cause it to crack further or create a divot, lovingly known as a pothole.

How to Avoid Pothole Damage

It’s no secret that the best way to prevent pothole damage is to avoid potholes. Of course, that’s easier said than done… Potholes are good at disguising themselves and if you aren’t paying close enough attention, you may not notice one approaching until it’s too late. It’s also very difficult to judge their size and depth from behind the wheel.

The solution many people choose is to swerve their car around them. If you notice the pothole right away and have plenty of time to maneuver around it, this isn’t a terrible option. Although if you don’t have time to react, we strongly advise against steering around them as it may cause you to swerve into the other lane or into oncoming traffic. Instead, we recommend treating it like a speed bump by slowing the speed of your vehicle. The slower you’re going, the less damage the pothole will cause on impact.

We also recommend mapping out alternative routes so that you don’t have to deal with these road monsters every day on your morning commute. You can also report hazardous potholes to your county or local unit of government.

For those who live in the St. Louis area, you can file a pothole report with the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

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If you’re unsure if your current insurance policies cover these three hazards, reach out to one of our independent agents and we’ll make sure you’re covered against all hazards Spring may throw your way!

Contact IASTL Today & Learn How Other Hazards to Watch For This Spring

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