17:00 PM

Tips for limiting hail damage

Madison, Wis. (May 19, 2015) - With any thunderstorm comes the chance of hail damage. Though it's not always preventable – you can't move your house after all – there are certain steps you can take to lessen the damage, both to your property and to yourself.

It starts at the top
Any strong thunderstorm has the capability to produce hail. The proper roofing type can help save you the mess of potential damage elsewhere around your house. Hail can shred roof coverings and present the opportunity for water to damage your ceilings, walls, floors, appliances and other personal possessions.

Know your limits
Don't try to be the hero when it comes to laying your roof or making adjustments. Unless you have prior experience in replacing roof coverings, hire a professional contractor.

Understand your roof covering
If you notice your shingles are old and worn out, it's a good idea to make sure the replacement roofing materials receive a Class 3 or 4 rating under Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2218 standard. That rating tells you the product didn't crack when struck multiple times by a two-inch steel ball. Certain Class 3 and 4 roofing materials may also be eligible for a discount from your homeowners insurance company.

Stay inside
If you're indoors during a hail storm, stay there. Don't get caught up in watching from your window, either. Hail has the ability to shatter windows. It would be wise to close drapes, blinds or window shades to prevent wind from blowing broken glass inside if a window was broken. Also stay away from skylights and doors.

About American Family Insurance
Madison, Wis.– based American Family Insurance is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 373rd on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General, Homesite and AssureStart) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the Internet or by phone. Web: www.amfam.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter: www.twitter.com/amfam. Google+ plus.google.com/+amfam/

News media contact:
Janet Masters
Media Relations
(608) 242-4100, ext. 30409