Spring Forward: Flooding, Hail, and Storm Damage Set to Continue


Severe convective storms (SCS) – including straight-line winds, tornados, hail, and severe thunderstorms – are among the most frequent and damaging natural hazard events in the U.S., according to CoreLogic. With the season peaking from March to June, SCS activity is the most significant cause of weather-related property damage nationwide.

Severe convective storms in 2023 caused $66 billion in damage, of which approximately $50 billion was insured, according to Munich Re. Two thunderstorm series – a Midwest storm in March and a Texas storm in June – together caused $17 billion in losses, contributing to the highest level of total thunderstorm losses the country has seen, according to the reinsurer.

2024 Storms Already on Record

We’ve already had several severe flooding events earlier this year, causing damage to homes, businesses, roads, and utilities. The first week of April saw two rounds of severe storms and tornadoes causing damage throughout Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.

In the first week of March, a widespread threat of severe thunderstorms and significant flooding unfolded from the southern plains to the Southeast. Parts of Texas and Oklahoma saw drenching thunderstorms and hail. On March 13 and 14, a strong upper-level disturbance spawned dozens of severe convective storms across the central U.S., with Kansas and Missouri hardest hit. According to CoreLogic, hail greater than one inch in diameter affected approximately 660,000 single- and multifamily residential properties across the country over both days.

In February, a deadly atmospheric river storm caused hundreds of mudslides and downed trees and utility lines, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses throughout Los Angeles. Dozens of buildings were inspected due to mudslide damage and hillside slope failures. The storm is estimated to have caused as much as $11 billion in damage and economic losses, according to Accuweather. Unfortunately, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), in the eight Southern California counties under a state of emergency during the storm in February, only 52,820 homes and businesses had flood insurance.

Heavy downpours during several days in Texas and Louisiana in January caused significant flooding. Cities in Texas recorded four to 12 inches of rain. Parts of Louisiana, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans, were also battered with heavy rain. Nearly 26 million people from Louisiana to West Virginia were under a flood watch.

In January, parts of the Northeast faced significant precipitation, destructive winds, and floods. Heavy rains and strong winds made some roadways impassable and cut power to thousands of New Yorkers from the New York City metro area to Rochester and other residents in the western part of the state.

Mitigating Risk

Speak to your clients about mitigating their risk from flood and storm damage. Following are several measures they can take.

Commercial Property Owners

  • Conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify vulnerabilities and potential risks caused by convective storms. Evaluate the building’s location, structural integrity, and vulnerability to wind, hail, and lightning damage.
  • Regularly inspect the building envelope, which includes roofs, windows, doors, and outside walls, to identify and rectify any flaws or areas of concern. Ensure the building envelope is appropriately sealed and strengthened to withstand strong winds and hail.
  • Consider fortifying the building structure and improving its resilience to convective storms. This could include installing impact-resistant windows, upgrading roof systems, and adapting doors to withstand severe wind forces.
  • Develop a storm readiness plan that includes procedures for monitoring weather conditions, initiating emergency alarms, and applying risk-mitigation measures. Ensure that all building occupants are familiar with the plan and understand what steps to take in the case of severe weather.
  • Install dependable emergency communication systems, including mass messaging tools, to promptly inform building inhabitants of imminent severe weather risks and provide directions for safe sheltering in place or evacuation.
  • Install backup power generators and utilities to ensure that critical services, such as lighting, HVAC, and communication systems, remain operational during power outages induced by convective storms. Backup systems should be tested regularly to ensure that they are functioning and reliable.


  • Perform regular home exterior maintenance, including roofs, siding, windows, and doors, to detect and remedy any weaknesses that convective storms may worsen.
  • Check the roof for loose or damaged shingles, flashing, and other components vulnerable to wind damage. Repair any flaws immediately to avoid water ingress and structural damage.
  • Secure or store outside furniture, equipment, and decorations to keep them from becoming windborne projectiles during a storm. Trim trees and remove dead branches that may fall on the house during severe winds.
  • Install storm shutters or reinforce windows and doors with impact-resistant materials to guard against wind-driven debris and reduce the danger of harm from flying objects.
  • Keep gutters and downspouts free of debris to guarantee adequate drainage and prevent water from gathering on the roof or around the foundation, which might cause water damage and invasion during heavy rains.
  • Consider adding a backup power generator to guarantee that essential utilities, such as lighting, heating, and refrigeration, remain operational during power outages caused by convection storms.
  • Install a sump pump in the basement or crawl area to reduce the chance of flooding during heavy rains. Ensure the property has proper drainage systems to redirect water from the foundation.
  • Stock up on emergency supplies, such as non-perishable food, water, prescriptions, flashlights, batteries, and first aid, to support survival in a prolonged power outage or service disruption.
  • Sign up for weather alerts and updates from local authorities, and check weather predictions regularly to remain informed about potential convective storms in the local area.
  • Create a family emergency plan that includes evacuation routes, shelter-in-place procedures, and communication protocols in case of severe weather. Practice drills with the whole family to ensure everyone understands what to do in an emergency.

Review your client’s insurance program to discuss any disaster coverage gaps and how to protect against potential losses.