In this ranking, it's terrible at the top.
In 2018, Colorado was crowned king of hail, reluctantly. According to the State Farm Insurance, the Centennial State filed almost $600 million in damage claims. That puts us squarely ahead of the many-time rank leader, Texas, where $437 million claims were filed. The top five list was rounded out by Illinois (No. 3), Minnesota (No. 4), and Nebraska (No. 5).
Colorado ranked No. 3 in 2017 hail claims, so what accounted for our unfortunate jump in the rankings? Hellacious hail storms all through the summer took their toll. Storms in Denver and the northern Front Range last June started the season on a destructive note. Then came the King Kong of hailstorms in August that not only caused property and crop damage but also injured dozens of people and killed two animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
In all, Coloradans filed more than 66,000 hail damage claims, up 27 percent from 2017 claims. Many of the claims were for vehicle damage, but around 24,000 were filed for damages to homes.
Damage to vehicles: 42,414 claims – $218M
Damage to homes: 24,402 claims – $380M
Colorado hail claims, 2018.
When it comes to hail, Colorado has perfect conditions for the perfect storm. You know how batters are more likely to knock it out of the park at Coors Field? The same thin air at our altitude lets hail sail to the ground a whole lot faster, says the National Weather Service. In fact, this also causes hail in Colorado to be about eight percent more damaging, which also means hail can be around one-inch in size and still cause damage.
And, let's not even talk about the baseball-size hail that the plains have seen. The eastern plains are also on the edge of "Hail Alley," which extends from Texas and Oklahoma up into the Dakotas, an area with the highest frequency for hail in North America.
In total, State Farm paid $2.7 billion in claims last year in the U.S.