An odd thing has been happening over the past several years: property insurance hail claims in many parts of the country have been increasing, but official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hail reports have not. If no more hail has been falling, why are more people filing claims for hail damage?

One prominent reason for the increase in hail claims is the increased prevalence of automated hail track products. You’ve probably seen them or used them yourself: digital maps with hail swaths color-coded to indicate hail size, available online for instant download. These products are offered by a number of different companies and are heavily marketed to contractors as well as to insurance adjusters. It’s an equal opportunity sales approach: pitch the roofer who will encourage the homeowner to file a claim, as well as the insurance adjuster who will investigate it.

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